Purpose This paper seeks to analyse the effects that previous episodes have on business-to-business relationships and how these episodes can influence the parties’ responses to a particular act. This investigation uses a network approach to investigate this relational situation. Design/methodology/approach A single case study was used based on dozens of semi-structured interviews to explore this phenomenon. Qualitative information was gathered. In addition to interviews, review of documents and observation were also completed. Findings It was found that varied outcomes occurred in the relationships and are a consequence of the contexts brought to bear on the dealers’ interpretations of the act of introducing a new agreement. New dealer relationships were strengthened, while established dealer relationships may have been weakened. Practical implications A long-term relationship, built through exchanging acts over time, conditions the counterpart's response to the focal company's act. This research shows that this can happen even in cases in which the relationship could be reasonably classified as Customer partnership. The dealers’ reactions suggest that different network positions were occupied by the two different types of dealers, established and new. Even though their roles in the supply chain could be deemed as identical, it appears as if the parties’ obligations and rights were different. Originality/value The paper illustrates the importance of good business relationships.
- Business policy
- Business-to-business marketing