This research paper by Pete Naudé and Francis Buttle, published in Industrial Marketing Management shows how there are several approaches to assessing relationship quality in the business-to-customer setting. Assessing the quality of any relationship has remained a problematic issue in spite of the recognized importance of relationships within business-to-business marketing, and this paper attempts to redress this shortcoming. Working with a group of 40 executives, and utilizing conjoint analysis, we explore this complex area by first identifying five underlying dimensions of high quality business-to-business relationships: trust; needs fulfilment; supply chain integration; power; and profit. Our preliminary results indicate that there is no one measure of just what constitutes a good relationship. Rather, there are potentially four different types of good relationship, each composed of different blends of these five attributes.

Last Modified: March 24, 2015