Christian Grönroos - Research outputs - Haris - Research Portal
This fully updated third edition examines customer management in service Christian Grönroos is Professor of Service and Relationship Marketing at the. Christian Grönroos (born 16 January ) is a Finnish academic focused on service and relationship marketing. His research interest is to "develop marketing based on a service logic: "Marketing is a customer focus that permeates organizational functions and processes and is geared towards making promises through. Marketing Marketing Strategy Service Firm Relationship Marketing Customer Base Christian Grönroos, a former visiting professor at Arizona State University .
In this way, mutually beneficial relationships could be established. Simultaneously, RM literature started to recognise the importance of satisfying the needs of a variety of stakeholders Payne et al.
These technological advances allow companies to assemble and manipulate customer data that, in turn, makes customer relationship management CRM possible. The case for RM was strengthened by the introduction of both theoretical and empirical research that demonstrated the efficacy of this strategy Sharma Where manufacturers initially focused on cost, quality and delivery in their relationships with suppliers, emphasis is now on a wider range of factors such as competencies and financial stability Goffin et al.
Various attempts were made to define the concept of RM, but according to Harker each of these attempts is influenced and driven by the specific characteristics of the particular study, resulting in different definitions. Through a comprehensive investigation into relationship marketing definitions that were published beforeHarker identified 26 definitions of the concept.
However, despite numerous efforts, there still appears to be no universally agreed definition of relationship marketing. The importance of a relational approach to marketing was emphasised by the American Marketing Association AMA in when a new definition of marketing was accepted: From a financial services perspective many customers have an explicit desire for an effective relationship with the service provider Xu et al.
The dimensions of RM Soon after the re-emergence of RM, the antecedents driving it received prominence in academic and trade journals. Despite empirical support for many of the dimensions of RM, Liang et al. Furthermore, uncertainty still appears to exist in respect of a generic set of dimensions to be used to represent RM in a variety of industries. Despite the uncertainty in respect of a complete set of dimensions to represent RM, overwhelming support of the importance of four dimensions in particular — trust, commitment, satisfaction and communication — are evident in the literature.
Although the marketing literature appears to offer a number of definitions of trust, common to most is a confidence between exchange partners that the other party is reliable and that they will act with integrity Heffernan et al. According to Ndubisicommitment is a central expectation or norm within business relationships, while Lacey and Morgan found that commitment is well entrenched in the relationship literature and essential to the creation and preservation of marketing relationships.
Liang and Wang confirmed the important role of commitment in a relationship, and found that, as commitment becomes more remarkable, the relationships on both sides become more stable.
The perpetual importance of satisfaction as an important variable in business relationships is highlighted by Sheth and Parvatiyarwho state that partners should deliver high-level satisfaction during each business transaction.
The influence of communication on the management of long-term marketing relationships appears to be equally well documented Doney et al. Goodman and Dion argue that the significance of effective communication for social and business relationships has universal acceptance, while Coote et al.
Although there appears to be agreement on the importance of trust, commitment, satisfaction and communication when a marketing relationship is managed, researchers appear to differ on the specific position of each of these variables in a marketing relationship. Commitment, for example, may well be both an antecedent Medlin et al. These 23 dimensions, together with each dimension's definition and reference appear in Table 1.
For the purpose of this study it was necessary to identify those dimensions in Table 1 that are perceived as important by RM managers and that they are able to manage. The rationale for this approach is threefold. First, some of the dimensions identified in the literature review are industry specific and not relevant to the financial services industry. Second, not all dimensions are equally important when establishing and managing marketing relationships in the financial services industry.
Third, it is deemed desirable from a practical point of view that the number of dimensions that can be managed and measured efficiently for performance on a regular basis should be limited to those that are critical to ensure reliable performance measurement. In the first phase, the dimensions that were found to influence the establishment of long-term marketing relationships were identified by means of an extensive literature review.
The second phase is the empirical research conducted to determine the importance of each of the dimensions for RM managers identified during the first phase of the research. Identifying the dimensions relevant for the establishment and managing of marketing relationships in the financial services industry Two major criteria were used to reduce the number of dimensions.
The first was the frequency with which dimensions appear in the extant empirical research. The aforementioned frequency is an indication of the importance that researchers attach to each dimension.Lincrafter Relationship marketing
Dimensions that are cited most frequently in empirical research were regarded as sufficiently important to be included in the final list. Second, the different industries in which each of the empirical studies was undertaken were examined in order to identify those dimensions that were empirically tested in the financial services industry. In order to conduct this analysis, existing empirical research regarding the establishment and maintenance of marketing relationships in the financial services industry was studied.
The analysis concentrated on publications in the period up to and including that were accessible, and included journal publications, conference papers and working papers. A total of studies were found that empirically identified the dimensions of RM. The initial pool of RM dimensions identified was These 23 dimensions were studied in a variety of industries, some of which had little in common with the financial services industry.
These empirical studies were identified by means of a search of the Ebscohost, Emerald, Gartner, Proquest Social Science and ScienceDirect databases, as well as a general Metalib search.
Of the 23 dimensions identified, 13 were from studies conducted in the financial services industry. An analysis of the theoretical papers studied did not provide any further dimensions of RM that were of relevance for the financial services industry.
Christian Grönroos — Wikipédia
Trust, commitment, satisfaction and communication are the dimensions that are most frequently cited in empirical research. These four dimensions were researched at least twice as many times as any of the other dimensions identified. The other dimensions of RM that were identified in the literature survey were power, shared values, bonding, cooperation, Dimensions of relationship marketing in business-to-business financial services customisation, relationship benefits, switching costs, competence and attractiveness of alternatives.
The 13 final dimensions that were included in the empirical phase of the study were therefore trust, commitment, satisfaction, communication, power, shared values, bonding, cooperation, customisation, relationship benefits, switching costs, competence and attractiveness of alternatives.
Due to the overwhelming support that was found for the first four dimensions mentioned above — namely trust, commitment, satisfaction and communication — it was decided not to subject these dimensions to any further empirical importance rating. Only the remaining nine of the dimensions were thus further assessed in the empirical phase of this study. Methodology of the empirical phase of the study Sampling procedure This phase of the study comprised a survey among relationship managers of a major South African B2B financial services provider.
The sample of 75 RM managers was representative of all the geographical areas served by the national financial provider. Questionnaire development A questionnaire was developed on which relationship managers the respondents had to indicate the importance of each of the nine dimensions, compared to each of all the other dimensions.
The technique used a process of pair-wise comparisons by respondents between two variables at a time. For example, the importance of the bonding dimension had to be evaluated relative to the other eight dimensions in this study. The formula shown on the following page was used to determine the number of questions that the questionnaire should consist of to reflect the nine dimensions in the study.
After the questionnaire was developed, it was checked for face validity and ease of reading among senior marketing academics and staff of the national financial provider. This email was preceded by a letter also by email from top management in which the reasons for the study were explained and respondents were encouraged to participate in the study.
Two weeks after the initial questionnaire was sent to the respondents, a follow-up reminder notice was sent to all 75 respondents. In total the respondents were, therefore, allowed four weeks to complete the questionnaire.
The questionnaire was constructed electronically in such a way that the respondents could not continue with the next question unless an answer was provided for the previous question.
This arrangement ensured that no non-useable questionnaires were received. To aid evaluation by the respondents, a definition of each dimension as defined in the literature appeared next to each of the dimensions. The AHP technique has emerged as an important approach to multi-criteria decision making and appears to be specifically applicable to quantifiable and intangible criteria. Saaty argues that the technique assists the decision-making process by decomposing a complex problem into a multi-level hierarchic structure.
A study by Lai et al. The letter from top management, in which relationship managers were motivated to take part in the research, probably contributed to the relatively high response rate. Importance of dimensions The AHP technique produced the importance ratings of the nine dimensions depicted in Figure 1. The remainder of the dimensions received relatively little support and only one dimension power received no support.
The application of the 0. The results of the consistency analysis are presented in Figure 2. The results presented in Figure 2 appear to be consistent with those in Figure 1, especially regarding the dimensions with the higher importance. The differences in importance between the two tables are presented in Table 2. In both Figures 1 and 2, competence, relationship benefits and bonding are indicated as the three most important dimensions in relationship Table 2 Consistency of AHP results Importance without Importance on Position considering consistency level 0.
Although attractiveness of alternatives, customisation and shared values were not ranked in the same order in the two tables, they are still regarded as important. The position of power in particular appears to be clear, since both Figures 1 and 2 showed no support for the inclusion of this dimension. The position of switching costs and cooperation appeared to be unclear.
The final retained dimensions appear in Table 3.
The initial pool of 23 RM dimensions identified in the literature analysis was thus reduced to 10 dimensions, which represent the four most frequently cited dimensions of trust, commitment, satisfaction and communication, as well as the six dimensions identified with the aid of the AHP technique in the empirical phase.
Furthermore, a limited number of existing studies focused on the B2B financial services industry. The first objective of the study was to identify the dimensions of RM that are regarded as important by RM managers for the establishment and management of B2B RM in the financial services industry. A secondary objective is to report on the process and technique applied to reduce the dimensions to a set of the most important dimensions that can be managed and measured for performance.
The findings should be of value to academics as well as practitioners who are interested in the management of RM in the B2B financial services industry. The generic pool of 23 dimensions that was identified makes it possible for marketers to select from this comprehensive pool those dimensions that might be applicable to their specific industry and circumstances.
Business & Relationship Marketing
Since marketers are continuously searching for new and innovative ways to manage relationships with clients, the risk of disregarding certain applicable dimensions is now reduced in respect of the B2B financial services industry.
However, this selection should always be made with great caution, and it is suggested that the importance and relevance of the selected dimensions are empirically assessed with the aid of decision makers of a particular industry. The results of the empirical research are of notable relevance to the B2B financial services industry.
Although overwhelming support was found in the literature for the importance of trust, commitment, satisfaction and communication, financial services providers should be cautious not to build relationships with B2B clients that focus on these four dimensions alone. Careful attention should be given to the remaining dimensions, and their appropriateness for different industries should be assessed.
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