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Title: Relationship Marketing in Emerging Economies: Some Lessons for the Future
Authors: Sabine Flambard-Ruaud
Issue/Year: Jul-2005
Section: Interfaces
Abstract: The theoretical domains that relationship marketing has traditionally drawn upon have been Western theories developed in economics, psychology, and management. Having largely exhausted these sources, it is now perhaps time to look more widely and consider less traditional paradigms from a broader range of cultures. The author suggests looking at Eastern cultures where relationships have provided the foundations for business activity for some thousands of years. This paper is an initial attempt to bridge the gap in existing literature as no adequate conceptual framework exists as yet. It aims to contribute to the knowledge of the reasons for the emergence of relationship marketing in Western economies and makes a brief comparison of the study of relationships in Western and Eastern literature so as to identify the differences in how culturally﷓based relationships are formed. In particular, it focuses on the Chinese complex concept of guanxi (loosely translated as ‘connections’ though ‘relationships’ might be better) and its importance in relationship development. The author hopes that this framework would be the starting point for a set of criteria to be taken into account before transferring relationship marketing in emerging economies.
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