The dynamics of long-term business-to-business exchange relationships

  • Pratibha A. Dabholkar
  • Wesley J. Johnston
  • Amy S. Cathey


A framework for business-to-business interaction is proposed that integrates approaches to bargaining from social psychology and economics to provide a conceptual paradigm emphasizing long-term exchange relationships rather than individual transactions. The authors propose a classification of negotiation behavior along two continuous dimensions and examine the mechanics of the dyadic negotiation process that translate negotiation behavior into long-term relationships. They suggest that exchange relationships are formed by achieving mutually beneficial outcomes from a series of exchange transactions and that there is a bi-directional link between negotiation behavior and exchange relationships mediated by negotiation outcomes. The framework also explores the determinants of negotiation behavior in dyadic negotiations between businesses in terms of organizational, individual, and “other party” influences. Propositions are developed, using both role theory and economic bargaining theory, to support the overall framework. Finally, the classification of negotiation behavior is revisited to examine the evolution of exchange relationships over time.


Switching Cost Role Conflict Exchange Relationship Role Ambiguity Role Stress 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pratibha A. Dabholkar
    • 1
  • Wesley J. Johnston
    • 2
  • Amy S. Cathey
    • 1
  1. 1.the University of TennesseeUSA
  2. 2.Georgia State UniversityUSA

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