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The role of communication in business relationships and networks

Rami Olkkonen (Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Turku, Finland)
Henrikki Tikkanen (University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Kimmo Alajoutsijärvi (University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 1 August 2000



Owing to the strong position of traditional marketing communications (especially advertising) research and consumer marketing related theories in the general field of marketing, the prevailing concepts of communication can be labeled as “mass communicative” in current marketing discourse as a whole. However, along with the rise of various “relational approaches” in marketing, the focus of marketing research seems to shift from products and firms as a central unit of analysis to people, organizations and the social processes that bind actors together in ongoing relationships. In these interactive relationship/network contexts, the nature of communication is hardly mass communicative. This article aims at presenting a theoretical framework on the role of communication in business relationships and networks. The interaction/network approach to marketing means moving from the current perspective of marketing’s mass‐communicative effects and consequent communicative behaviors of organizations to the “lower level” of interpersonal communication processes occurring within business relationships and networks.



Olkkonen, R., Tikkanen, H. and Alajoutsijärvi, K. (2000), "The role of communication in business relationships and networks", Management Decision, Vol. 38 No. 6, pp. 403-409.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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