Firm-to-firm and interpersonal relationships: Perspectives from advertising agency account managers
We do things for people we like, our friends. However, in firm-to-firm exchange relationships, boundary spanners are economic agents representing their firms contractually to achieve specific goals. Thus, questions arise as to whether close interpersonal relationships exist in business settings, how they are defined, and whether they influence the nature and functioning of interfirm exchange. A qualitative study with advertising agency account managers finds that analyzing interpersonal relationships across groups from both sides defines firm-to-firm relationships. Participants define these relationships based on the extent to which the agency is involved in the client's business across categories including vendor, partner, and surrogate manager. Interpersonal relationships exist across categories including strictly business, business friends, and highly personal. The relationships are distinguished based on the knowledge base developed about the brand manager. Overwhelmingly, the participants claim that developing close, interpersonal relationships is beneficial to both their professional and personal lives.
Business to business, Personal relationships, Qualitative methods, Relationship marketing
Haytko, Diana L. "Firm-to-firm and interpersonal relationships: Perspectives from advertising agency account managers." Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 32, no. 3 (2004): 312-328.
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science