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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), Volume 10, Issue 3, 2002, Pages 21–40
While an individual at an organisational interface can display effective supportive, normative relationship behaviour, it is the shared presence of this normative behaviour within organisations that will support effective relationship management practice and performance outcomes. Organisational culture, and its underpinning values, influences behaviour and expectations of individual managers within a business. Further, it shapes the employees’ shared perceptions of how other organisations should be treated, correct modes of behaviour and basic attitudes towards activities of the business. This research identifies organisational cultural dimensions that underpin successful relationship management practice, and that lead to relationship outcomes of equality, satisfaction and performance. The importance of organisations looking inwards and evaluating their own culture as a critical starting point for relationship development is highlighted.
Organisational culture has been a major area of academicresearch and theoretical debate by organisational behaviouriststhe last two decades, and has captured theinterest of practitioners through a number of popularmanagement publications (for example, Jelninek,Smircich and Hirsch 1983; Ouchi 1985; Peters andWaterman 1982). While it has become an important area of research in management, prominent marketing scholarshave noted the scant attention given to organisationalculture in the marketing literature (Deshpandé andWebster Jr 1989). More recently, ‘market orientation’ hasbeen described as a ‘culture’ (Narver and Slater 1990; Slater and Narver 1995), providing employees with normsfor learning about the market, critical for the creation ofsuperior value and leading to organisational performanceoutcomes.Although it has been confirmed that an organisation’sculture will influence all management practice (Kabanoff1993), and that shared adherence to standards of honestyand fairness is fundamental to building trust and maintaininglong-term business relationships (Morgan and Hunt 1994), no research to date has linked culturaldimensions directly to relationship management practice.Successful business-to-business relationships displaycharacteristics of trust and commitment, measuredthrough constructs such as benevolence, communication openness, investment, control reduction, collaborationand constructive conflict resolution (Morgan and Hunt1994; Ganesan 1994; Zinn and Parasuraman 1997). Thisbody of research would be enriched through understandingindividual manager and organisational cultural dimensions that support trust and commitment behavioursnecessary to build successful business relationships.The objective of this research is to identify organisationalcultural dimensions and moral integrity values thatsupport successful relationship management practice, andlead to relationship outcomes of equality, satisfaction andperformance. It is postulated that when individual standardsof honesty and fairness underpin an organisational culture that supports information and knowledgeexchange processes, more efficient and effective relationshipswith other organisations will emerge. Thus, hypotheseswill be tested to support the relationships in Figure 1.This paper will first examine organisational culture and moral integrity within a relationship context (i.e. in termsof assumptions, values, norms and other relationship relevantdimensions). Evidence will be presented, linkingculture to relationship management practice and organisationalperformance, and the contribution of moral integrity values to a ‘collaborative’ culture supporting relationshipmanagement practice will be established. Secondly,relationship management practice will be examined withinan organisation-wide context, and linked to outcomes ofrelationship equality, satisfaction and performance.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
To achieve the objective of this research, i.e. to identifyorganisational cultural dimensions that underpin relationshipmanagement practice, and lead to relationship satisfactionand performance, higher-order measures of relationshipmanagement practice and relationship outcomeswere established. Just as market orientation has beenexplained through the existence of higher order factors, itis reasonable to assume that a higher-order construct of relationship management practice exists and leads to arange of inter-linked relationship outcomes. To developthese constructs we have sought from the literature firstorder constructs that provide a meaningful representationof the respective domains. The second-order modeldemonstrated a high degree of fit with the data.Improvement in the goodness of fit measures in the presenceof second order factors confirmed the integration of the three aspects frequently associated with relationshipmanagement practice (collaboration, flexibility andconstructive conflict resolution) and the three aspectspresented separately in previous literature associated withrelationship outcomes (performance, satisfaction and equitability). This research confirms the importance ofthe measure ‘relationship equality’ as a relationshipoutcome proposed by Gassenheimer, Houston and Davis(1998). The equitable division of risk, opportunities andresources is linked back through the collaborative behaviours within the relationship, to the moral integrity ofthose managing these major relationships. The focus of this research has been on providing the firstempirical effort to integrate individual values, organisationalcultural aspects and relationship managementpractice. In attempting to contextualise relationshipmanagement practice in an individual’s moral integrityand organisational cultural dimensions, this study hasnot presented a comprehensive model of an individual’svalue system, nor a model of the complex and keenlycontested paradigms of organisational culture (seeSmircich 1983). Rather, we have identified those core individual and collective values that interact with relationshipmanagement practice.Testing of the hypotheses supports the conclusion thatmoral integrity values will directly and positively contribute to a communicative, flexible and innovativeculture, and indirectly enhance relationship managementpractice reflecting collaboration, flexibility andconstructive conflict resolution. Further, we confirm thatrelationship management practice, will positively influence relationship outcomes of performance satisfactionand perceived equality.The relationship marketing/management literature identifiesrelationship longevity as dependent on trust and commitment behaviours that reflect high levels of integration,normative behaviours, flexibility, and informationand creativity exchanges (for example, Lusch and Brown1996; Mohr, Fisher and Nevin 1996). Frequently, however,such an ideal state cannot be achieved in practice. This research highlights the importance of organisationslooking inwards and evaluating their own culture(s) as acritical starting point for relationship development.Cultural value dimensions of innovation, flexibility,communication and consultation are recognised throughthis research as critical to support relationship managementpractice that will enhance relationship performance outcomes. Shared assumptions underpinning thesecultural value dimensions (such as ‘organisational opennesswill strengthen the potential that can be realisedthrough business-to-business relationships’ and ‘organisationsare dependent on and impacted by their environmentand must be willing to adjust to its demands’), areessential to the creation of the basic ingredients of relationshiplongevity, trust and commitment. Organisationsmust understand the value dimensions and assumptionsdriving their own culture, and assess the compatibility ofthat culture to that necessary to support effective andefficient relationship management practice. Although thecultural measure of ‘employee empowerment’ (Jarratt, Ardagh and McLean 1999) was removed to enhance therobustness of the model, the intent of this statement isrepresented in the model. The notion of ‘fairness’ flowsthrough each stage of the model: making promises thatcan be kept, a collaborative approach to conflict resolu-nd order factorsincluded382 (315df)0.920.900.830.070.070.050.800.750.891.21-174Model 2No 2 ndorder factors407 (311df)0.920.880.820.070.070.060.780.730.901.31-143tion and equality in distribution of rewards, risk andopportunities.This research supports the assertions of Kabanoff (1993)and has detailed the cultural dimensions of an organisationthat support effective relationship management practice.In many organisations, relationship managers are empoweredwith the responsibility of ‘making the relationshipwork’. However, it is generally the case that to evolve to asubsequent stage, relationships need to develop organisation-wide multi-point interactions, and the culture of theorganisation is evidenced through the integrity of all itsinteractions, its internal communication flows, innovativeness,flexibility and management proficiency. While anindividual at the organisational interface can display effectiverelationship supportive, normative behaviour, it is theshared presence of this normative behaviour within organisationsthat will support effective relationship managementpractice and performance outcomes.Organisations for which relationship management is animportant element of their overall strategy are advised toreview their organisational culture(s), leadership and management approach to ensure the presence of valuesthat are reflective, and productive, of a desirable relationshipmanagement philosophy. Where effective relationship management is critical to an organisation'scompetitive advantage, a shared vision of the organisationmay need to be developed that provides clear andpersuasive direction to all staff. Clearly this sharedvision needs to be consistent with implementing anapproach to relationship management practice that leadsto high levels of relationship performance and relationship longevity. This vision must be strongly supportedby, and reflected in, organisational leadership, managementpractices, processes, and incentive systems. Wherepossible, it is also highly desirable for staff to beappointed whose values are consistent with the vision.