Special Issue On Relationship Marketing

Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 255-271

First online:

Relationship marketing in consumer markets: Antecedents and consequences

  • Jagdish N. ShethAffiliated withEmory University
  • , Atul ParvatiyarAffiliated withGoizueta Business School, Emory University

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Understanding the motivations of consumers to engage in relationships with marketers is important for both practitioners and marketing scholars. To develop an effective theory of relationship marketing, it is necessary to understand what motivates consumers to reduce their available market choices and engage in a relational market behavior by patronizing the same marketer in subsequent choice situations. This article draws on established consumer behavior literature to suggest that consumers engage in relational market behavior due to personal influences, social influences, and institutional influences. Consumers reduce their available choice and engage in relational market behavior because they want to simplify their buying and consuming tasks, simplify information processing, reduce perceived risks, and maintain cognitive consistency and a state of psychological comfort. They also engage in relational market behavior because of family and social norms, peer group pressures, government mandates, religious tenets, employer influences, and marketer policies. The willingness and ability of both consumers and marketers to engage in relational marketing will lead to greater marketing productivity, unless either consumers or marketers abuse the mutual interdependence and cooperation.