The purpose of this paper is to review the academic literature on relationship marketing (RM), conduct a content analysis of the same for the purpose of classification and provides a comprehensive bibliography.
A range of online databases were searched to review the literature on RM. Only, 209 papers had RM as the primary research topic. The full text of each paper was taken as the unit of analysis. The classification of all the units into mutually exclusive categories was done by two independent researchers.
The content analysis led to classification of literature into five mutually exclusive categories viz. objectives, defining constructs, instruments, industrial applications and issues. The contribution of research papers has been on the rise across the time frame and there has been a sharp rise in RM research publication in the recent years. The study revealed many other useful findings.
The findings can be generalized only to the population of selected online databases for the given time period but not to the larger universe of RM literature. The study identifies various untapped areas for further research in terms of industry, country of study, research methods, type of study, etc.
The paper provides a roster of field projects accompanied by a comprehensive bibliography that will be useful to both academics and practitioners for studying existing research as well as for contemplating future research.
This is the only paper that provides a literature review and bibliography of RM literature for the period 1994‐2006.
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