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Reflection on Contemporary Issues in Relationship Marketing: Evidence from a Longitudinal Case Study in the Building Materials Industry

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Abstract:

This article examines a number of issues in relationship marketing through the perspective of the competence-based view of the firm. It draws on data from a 53-year case history of a firm in the Irish building materials industry. Relationship marketing emerges from this data as a significant market-related competence helping the firm to enjoy a preeminent position in the marketplace over five decades.

Discussion focuses on the dynamic nature of relationship marketing in the company – how the intent, thrust and characteristics of relationship marketing evolved over 53 years and five eras of the firm's history. In this context, customer loyalty is observed to have an enduring and at times idiosyncratic character. Further, relationship marketing is found to be enmeshed in other competences and capabilities of the firm, and to have an important tacit dimension. Finally, aspects of best practice in the firm are considered in the light of contemporary conceptualisation about relationships and marketing.

Keywords: BUILDING MATERIALS INDUSTRY; LONGITUDINAL RESEARCH; MARKETING-RELATED COMPETENCE; RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS; RELATIONSHIP MARKETING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725706776022290

Publication date: February 1, 2006

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