Psychotherapy is often used to treat dysfunctional inter-personal relationships, but it is rarely used to treat dysfunctional B2B relationships. Yet many of the variables found in inter-personal relationships are also found in B2B relationships and both types of relationships have similar fail rates. The authors take a multi-disciplinary approach by adapting an instrument from marriage therapy into a new measure called the Business Relationship Health Index (BRHI). In the process we re-evaluate the drivers of B2B relationships.
The authors apply the Global Assessment of Relational Functioning (GARF) psychiatric system to B2B relationships. The GARF instrument incorporates three components: interaction/problem solving, organization/structure and emotional climate. Using US panel data of 500 B2B relationships based in the USA, the authors use partial least squares analysis and develop a structural equation model to test the validity and reliability of the BRHI with some well-known relationship measures including, satisfaction, trust, commitment and performance.
The findings support a strong link between the BRHI (emotion, interaction and organization) and relationship performance. The proposed measure shows a strong link between BRHI and relationship performance (R2 = 0.54).
The GARF instrument has never been applied to a B2B context. BRHI is a holistic instrument used for assessing the specific relational characteristics of B2B relationships. The BRHI can benefit relationship stakeholders when used as a diagnostic tool to prioritize B2B investment strategies. Managers can use BRHI to determine the extent to which the relationship is healthy or needs repair, re-evaluation, re-commitment, or repositioning.
Bignoux, S., Gray, D. and Booth, A.T. (2022), "Developing an alternative approach to the measurement of B2B relationship health", Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/APJML-01-2022-0077
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