Towards a Contingent, Empirically Validated, and Power Cognisant Relationship Marketing

Edward Kasabov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


– The purpose of this paper is to deconstruct a growing area in marketing theory. It aims to critically examine the principles of relationship marketing as found in the literature and suggest opportunities for future conceptual maturation.

– The conceptual discussion aims to assist future progress of relationship marketing and, more generally, marketing theory. While focusing on specific areas of departures and inadequacies in past and current research in the area, the discussion notes seminal philosophical questions which underpin current marketing sensibilities and which inform the nature of relational discourses.

– It is argued that, in spite of recent developments in and maturation of relational discourses, some research in the field remains rather non‐contingent, theoretical and not observation‐informed. Importantly, it is biased towards the discussion of positive aspects of relationships. Matters of consequence to practice and research such as power and disciplining remain under‐researched.

Research limitations/implications
– By deconstructing and reconstructing current relationship marketing theory – partly by using a study of power and disciplining in situations of consumer dissatisfaction – ways of confronting shortcomings of relational research are illustrated. A more balanced and nuanced approach to marketing research and practice is proposed.

– This is one of the few papers in marketing research, and relationship‐marketing research in particular, conceptually intrigued by the peculiarities of current thinking of relationships and exchanges. The contribution centres on three observations and a number of suggestions for future relational analysis. The discussion aims to help promote a fuller, deeper understanding of exchanges. It has been designed as a sketchy guide to future relationship marketing research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-120
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


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