When Do Relationships Pay Off for Small Retailers? Exploring Targets and Contexts to Understand the Value of Relationship Marketing☆ Academic Article uri icon


  • Relationship marketing has taken on a significant role in both retail practice and academic study. However, from the introduction of the concept of relationship marketing into the literature scholars have noted that relationship building may not be beneficial to all firms under all conditions. In this study, we investigate this issue attempting to gain a greater understanding of the value of relationship marketing activities across targets (i.e., customers and suppliers) and within contexts (i.e., competitive intensity and three elements of market dynamism) on a retailer's ability to develop the capability of market responsiveness. Our findings, based upon a sample of 172 small retailers, demonstrate that differences do in fact exist in the value delivery to retailers from relationships with different targets and across different contexts in which the retailer operates. As such, the results of this study extend the extant relationship marketing literature, refining our understanding of the value of relationship marketing. Implications for academics and practitioners are discussed. © 2009 New York University.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Retailing

author list (cited authors)

  • Adjei, M. T., Griffith, D. A., & Noble, S. M.

citation count

  • 54

complete list of authors

  • Adjei, Mavis T||Griffith, David A||Noble, Stephanie M

publication date

  • December 2009