Relationship marketing is not new in either business or consumer markets; however, our theoretical understanding of these relationships has grown since the early 1980’s when Berry (1983) and Dwyer, et al. (1987) focused academic attention on the potential they hold. This led to a clearer understanding that all business relationships are not the same, but differ in the degree of relationalism within the relationships. These differences in relational character may affect the level of joint outcomes achieved by each relational partner, as well as the organizational unit, according to recent research (Mohr and Nevin 1990; Varadarajan and Cunningham 1995). These preliminary findings suggest that we need a richer understanding of the critical differences between relationships, since theories developed and tested in the context of one type of relationship may not be equally valid in the context of a different type of relationship.
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- Relationship Strength in Business Relationships and its Role in Observed Relational Outcomes