The purpose of this paper is to create an audit method for analyzing and improving business relationships. This is accomplished by specifying bonds on a lower abstraction level than in earlier theory regarding bonds in order to classify the different types of bonds and analyze their strength.
The findings are based on 14 case studies in seven different industries. The methodology used is systematic and based on the abductive approach. Qualitative interviews were conducted.
Bonds were found to be important regulators of business relationships in this study. The main finding is that a bond audit can be used as a tool for analyzing business relationships and for consulting activity with the aim of strengthening or weakening business relationships.
By influencing the bonds using bond management, companies can strengthen or weaken the business relationship.
The paper describes an audit method for analyzing business relationships by stringently analyzing all parts of it using the bond‐auditing tool, and thus auditing bonds more specifically than has been done previously.
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