Analysing Customer Supplier Relationships in Business Markets

  • Antonella La RoccaEmail author


This chapter is dedicated to the topic of analysing business relationships and the processes underlying the formation of interorganisational business relationships. The discussion draws mainly on B2B marketing literature, especially the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) tradition. We outline the Activity-Resource-Actor (ARA) model (Håkansson & Snehota in Developing Relationship in Business Networks. Routledge, London, 1995) that provides a framework for analysing the content and functions of business relationships. Our line of argument is that business relationships are the locus of complex interaction processes that are important for how business relationships develop and ultimately for the dynamics of the business markets as networks. Analysing interaction in business relationships reveals why interaction processes are fundamental in any attempt to explain how businesses operate and the dynamics of business markets. Particular emphasis is given to interaction in the actor layer of business relationships. In the concluding section, we discuss the research contributions of interpersonal relations dealing with interaction processes, which allows us to introduce the issue of the role of perceptions and interpretations in actors’ behaviours in interaction.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rennes School of BusinessRennesFrance

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