The 'Burden' of Key Customer Relationships

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Marketing is currently focusing on various kinds of relationship management and relationship building. Most of the literature base its arguments on and report the positive effects of buyer-seller relationships. Little is though said about possible negative effects of relationships. This article focuses on the negative sides - burdens - of business relationships. Three relationships schools, relationship marketing, key account management and industrial relationship marketing are presented and an extensive case illustration is reported in order to visualise negative effects of key customer relationships. This message of the article is to widen the scope of research by the cross-fertilisation between theories and critically review the narrow focus of the positive effects of business relationships.
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