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Ott, Christoph M.
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[Journal:] jbm - Journal of Business Market Management [Volume:] 5 [Year:] 2012 [Issue:] 4 [Pages:] 215-243
Long-term business relationships between actors are a common mode of exchange in business markets. There has been increasing interest in the governance of long-term business relationships. However, little is known about governance issues in early stages of relationships. The goal of this paper is to put forth a seldom-used methodological approach in marketing to contribute to understanding the role of behavioral norms during the pre-contractual phase of a long-term business relationship. The background of this research project is the initial stages of two case studies of long-term business relationship between a school and investment partners prior to the contract signature with the intent of establishing a new school. Results of the occurrence of norms show that both parties first need to define the framework of their relationship before beginning joint value creation. Furthermore, a gradual increase of usage of norms seems to have a positive effect on a nascent business relationship.
behavioral norms
norm dimension
action research
relational exchange theory
long-term business relationships
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