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Paper info: Relationally-Responsive Interaction in Business


Relationally-Responsive Interaction in Business


Lars Esbjerg

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


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Abstract. Interaction between active, individually significant and interdependent actors
is a central concern for research within the IMP tradition, which emphasises that it is
what happens between a company and others that constitutes the core of business.
Nevertheless, it is also recognised that our understanding of the nature of interaction
and its implications for business remains limited. This paper develops a theoretically
grounded understanding of how business actors orient themselves towards each other
in relationally-responsive interaction. Amongst other things, this understanding offers a
more satisfying conceptualisation of identity than that found in the IMP literature,
which argues that identity is determined by resources and activities. Another important
contribution is the distinction made between two kinds of challenges, which business
actors face in their day-to-day activities: logical problems and difficulties of orientation.
Key words: Business actors, interaction processes, orientational difficulties, problems,
relationally-responsive interaction.