Value dimensions and relationship postures in dyadic ‘key relationship programmes’

by Stephan Henneberg, Catherine Pardo, Stefanos Mouzas and Peter Naudé


Business-to-business marketing is often concerned with the way in which companies manage strategically important relationships with their counterparts: their key relationship programmes (KRPs). These relationships can be managed through the implementation of specific managerial and organizational structures, commonly implemented via key account programmes (on the supplier side) or key supplier programmes (on the customer side). Underlying this managerial process is an implicit assumption that these important relationships bring some form of additional value to one or both parties involved. However, a dyadic view of how this value is created and shared between the parties remains an under-researched area.

In this conceptual paper, we use the multi-faceted value construct introduced in Pardo et al. (2006) and posit that the buyer's or seller's value strategies can be best understood as being internally, exchange or relationship based. This in turn allows us to analyse the value gained as being the outcome of one of nine generic key relationship postures within any dyadic KRP. We focus on an analysis of so-called ‘managed’ relationship postures and identify a number of dyadic activities and competences that we hypothesize are important in managing such KRPs, and which can form the basis for further empirical research.

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