Actions for relationship value: a mission impossible?

Kristin B. Munksgaard*, Kirsten Frandsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Purpose: The form and content of relationship value dominates the literature. This paper contributes by studying companies’ actions based on their value perceptions, a field which has attracted less attention. Scholars advocate more studies on how companies’ value perceptions shape actions in relationships and how this leads to outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: A longitudinal critical case study of a customer/supplier relationship constitutes the empirical basis of the paper. Interviews and observation studies were conducted over a period of three years, giving access to special insight into the actors’ value perceptions and related actions. Findings: Value perceptions shape actions performed individually, jointly or in the wider network. Moreover, misperceptions of the counterparty’s value perceptions may result in a maelstrom of interactions with no specific value outcome. Acting based on value perceptions is a complex matter due to its evolving nature, which leads to development becoming a value driver. Research limitations/implications: The interdependencies between different value perceptions and their relational value drivers have special effects on actions and outcomes, also, value in actions needs to be studied. Practical implications: Management needs to explore value from different perspectives to understand the counterparty’s value perceptions and communicate own perceptions. It is not sufficient to create value based on one value driver. Instead, it is vital to be able to connect value drivers to balance and prioritise relevant actions. Originality/value: This paper stands out as one of the first contributions to relationship value literature that addresses and analyses value from both a customer perspective and a supplier perspective in a dyadic business relationship.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)892-915
Publication statusPublished - 13. May 2019


  • Business relationships
  • Networks
  • Relationship value

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