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Journal Selections from MSI

Transformational Events in B2B Relationships

Implications for how marketers design loyalty-building programs

Colleen Harmeling, Robert Palmatier, Mark Houston, Mark Arnold, and Stephen Samaha investigate how certain exchange events dramatically change B2B relationships and how such events affect exchange performance.

They show that managers must go beyond measuring product expectations to be vigilant of disconfirmations of relational expectations in B2B relationships. Encounters between exchange partners that significantly disconfirm expectations (positively or negatively) induce emotional and cognitive responses that affect sales growth and the partner’s psychological identification with the seller.

Further, their results suggest a ceiling for positive disconfirmation, beyond which events are “too desirable” and prompt adverse responses, such as suspicion or negative social emotions such as guilt. For loyalty-building events such as rewards programs, calibrating rewards to the proper magnitude of disconfirmation seems critical to program success.

Download from the American Marketing Association (free until July 11, 2016)
Transformational Relationship Events by Colleen M. Harmeling, Robert W. Palmatier, Mark B. Houston, Mark J. Arnold, and Stephen A. Samaha, Journal of Marketing (September 2015)

Journal Selections from MSI (June 2016)

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