بازاریابی رابطه ای و تئوری قرارداد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|2811||2004||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 33, Issue 6, August 2004, Pages 513–526
The theoretical foundation of contracts and their limitations in governing exchange between firms is a current area of research in economics and business. The relationship marketing approach in business-to-business markets focuses on aspects in interfirm exchange that contracts cannot deal with efficiently. However, the ability to use contractual forms of governance where possible is crucial to the enhanced scope of relationship marketing management. We argue that contracts and relationships are complementary and that contracts provide an evolving governance structure for relationships. We examine the evolution of interfirm exchange theories in this framework and illustrate the convergence between contract theory and relationship marketing management, with examples from procurement in the supply chain, capacity reservation contracts, and program management.
At first glance, there is a polarity in thinking about markets and relationships. Markets and perfect competition characterize agents who cannot influence price in equilibrium. Yet, relationships require firms to modify their behaviors in an interactive manner to affect exchange. Markets exhibit spot contracts with few dimensions, and there is a pressure to further reduce the number of variables relevant to the contract. Relationships have several dimensions contingent on unknown events, and the parties consciously seek to increase the dimensions along which exchange occurs in the quest for new ways to create value. Markets are based on spot contracts that are theoretically first best on efficiency considerations. Relationships are long term, often noncontractual, and efficiency considerations are remote. Ever since Adam Smith and formal thinking on wealth-generating processes (Smith, 1776), business theory has acknowledged the centrality of markets, but has sought to develop the theory in ways that modify the perfect competition model to accommodate relational interactions. The theory of market equilibrium took a long time in the making by the measure of academic careers, and its literature is more than a hundred years old. The literatures both on contract and relationship marketing theories have developed more recently. The first of these, the existing theory of contracts, is a departure from the perfect competition model. It explicitly acknowledges that agents interact through the price system, but also use a variety of formal and informal nonprice instruments and mechanisms to influence the decisions necessary for an efficient exchange between firms. Contracts are necessary to govern foreseeable and specific aspects of the exchange and are widely observed. They directly impact business performance. Considerations on financial returns, net of contracted expenses, drive practical transactions at the highest levels. While contracts may be explicit, there are also implicit and incomplete forms of contracting that lend themselves to longer term considerations. The second, the relationship marketing theory, is primarily concerned about this longer term. Relationships are necessary to transcend immediate and foreseeable economic concerns and are particularly important in situations of uncertainty and ambiguity. In such situations, future collaboration or termination is supported by implicit and explicit assumptions regarding the exchange (Dwyer, Schurr and Oh, 1987). These may evolve as they are mediated by key behaviors in the relationship to influence the dynamics of outcomes (Morgan and Hunt, 1994). In fact, contracts may take on different forms over the course of the duration of the relationship between partners to the exchange. Where does the transition between transactional and relational thinking occur? The two sides to the business exchange are not always on the same page, and mismatched expectations or approaches cause legal problems, often of major import. What terms of contracts are useful in relationships and what are purely transactional? More fundamentally, in the relationship marketing management approach, what should be left free of contracts; what should be contracted; and what would be the scope and choices among these contracts? We address these challenging questions here by arguing for the relevance of contract theory approaches to the relationship marketing theory. We will argue that contracts and relationships are complementary, and that contracts provide an evolving governance structure within which relationships themselves evolve. The paper develops the complementarities through a framework that links contract theory with relationship marketing for the mutual enrichment of theory. We begin with a literature review of the concepts from the relationship marketing literature relevant to contract theory. The following section develops the integrated framework, and subsequent sections illustrate three extensions of short-term complete contract approaches that complement the relationship marketing literature. These illustrations are drawn from the capacity contracting, outsourcing, and information technology (IT) services domains and serve to provide concrete examples of how key dimensions that define contract theory could extend to relationship marketing. The concluding section identifies promising directions for future contract–relationship research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The paper was motivated with the observation that contractual markets and relationships display convergent tendencies in modern economic systems and that an integrative review of the literature is likely to be valuable for the development of theory. The theoretical underpinnings of the market paradigm, historically, have led to the notions of transactional contracts. The more recent developments of incomplete contracts have refocused attention to relational contracts. This new frontier is closely related to the domain of relationship marketing theory. Our paper argues that relationships for markets is a viable approach to understanding how firms actually approach their business, as relationships and contracts are extremes in a continuum. We illustrate the ideas by examining capacity reservation contracts, procurement in supply chains, and a framework for program management in the IT services industry. We end the paper with an outlook for research employing the framework for the dynamics of markets, contracts, and relationships. We briefly identify aspects of exchange that hold promise for research based on our framework. (a) Capacity building in the supply base. The supplier's decision to build capacity that is dedicated or difficult to convert to other uses is an irrevocable decision. Its import changes with the stages of contracting and, rarely, is it possible to directly contract for such investment. (b) Perceptions of sunk costs. Although sunk costs are irrelevant to decisions concerning future relationships, the contract–relationship experience behind sunk costs could have significant carry over effects. (c) Monitoring and administrative costs. Buyers and sellers incur these costs in managing the relationship. The origins and impact of these costs depend on structures and relationships in the buying and selling centers and on the flexibility of cross-center purchasing processes and configurations. (d) Subcontracting and hierarchical supply tiers. The decision to mix subcontracting with direct reporting by suppliers changes the cast of partners. The information requirements to manage the one-to-many tier supply base are very different, depending on the mix. (e) Supply efficiencies and positive externalities. Supply strategies have effects on other stakeholders in the business. The presence or absence of after-markets and arbitrage are concerns, with effects on the welfare of the entire supply base and consumers at large. (f) Insurance and risk aversion. The risk attitudes of firms in longer relations may differ. As uncertainties differ, the insurance that they require may vary over the course of the relationship. However, the insurance required is rarely directly contracted. (g) Incentives and effort aversion. The nature of effort and the value added to the relationship will change over the longer term. The role and type of performance incentive are likely to change as well. Clearly, it is close to impossible to directly contract for the effort or enforce the performance. (h) Asset ownership and capital equipment. The firms' property rights entering into a relationship are preconditions for its existence. However, these may change during the course of the exchange. The contractual agreements clearly influence such evolutionary relationships. (i) Outsourcing and rents. The specific competitive advantage outsourcing affords arises with differential access to technology. The outcomes that suppliers achieve with their actions are often superior to those that the buyer achieves, and therefore, outsourcing more than compensates for the rents that must also be outsourced. (j) Information rents and selection processes. The process of partnering, discovering hidden abilities of partners, and learning how to discriminate will involve costs. Varieties of communication and revelation mechanisms have different institutional arrangements, leading to costs that could be borne by different parties. (k) Financial structure, debt and interest, ownership, and equity. The chosen mix of financial arrangements is often sustained beyond the duration of the exchange. This may lead to a mismatch with the changing information content of the exchange. (l) Estimate aversion in uncertain environments. Changes in specifications, technology, and abilities often dissuade parties from arriving at critical estimates prior to engaging in the exchange. The estimation approach is influenced by the stage at which it is conducted. (m) Upstream and downstream influences. The supplier's supplier and the buyer's buyer are influences in the exchange between any given supplier–buyer dyad. A concern is the compatibility of the risk–reward tradeoffs within the dyad, with the external tradeoffs on both sides. (n) Unreliability and reputation. Market pressures on the parties will change as a result of their reputation for performance or unreliability. Repeated exchanges and the learning from the observation of specific outcome variables lead to these reputations. (o) Certification and role of third parties. Firms aspire to win competitive and noncompetitive certification awards. The value of such third-party certification is both as an advertisement and as an incentive to improve performance. (p) Vertical integration, outsourcing, and engagement maturity. Outsourcing challenges the conventional market-contracting as well as vertical integration approaches. The development and maturity of outsourcing engagements define the chances of success and overall benefits. These components of exchange cover the spectrum of contract–relationship phenomena. As areas for research, they will yield further insights when both forms of exchange are understood to evolve simultaneously. The complex nature of some contracts that we have reviewed is a reflection of the simultaneous relationship-building burden that they must anticipate and due to the need to deal fairly with unforeseen contingencies. Longitudinal case studies would be particularly useful, as will empirical methods that relate similar frameworks to business performance. Empirical tests of the propositions arising from such insights will add to the growing stream of descriptive models of interfirm exchange, for the formalizations of relational aspects. We expect that research will be fruitful in examining alternate structures in the relation–contract continuum for global supplier base development and its impact on business performance.