Relational orientation in management: Re‐visiting the concepts of relationship and communication

Dr Richard J. Varey (The BNFL Corporate Communications Unit, The Management School, University of Salford, Salford M5 4WT, England)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Publication date: 1 April 1998


The concept of relationship marketing is established in the general management and marketing literature. Almost all of the thinking and practice has emanated exclusively from marketing scholars and practitioners. A contribution towards better understanding the communication issues is presented by re‐considering the nature of managed human communication as a fundamental management function, and a re‐consideration of the social nature and function of human relationships. This requires recognition that the field of public relations also deals with relationships. Some implications for individual managers are identified which do not depend on the scgmentalist functional view of marketing as an economic tool of persuasion. As communication occurs within the context of the communicators' multiplex relationships and relational roles, and these relationships define how to interpret the content of communication episodes, business managers can benefit from awareness of the impact of relationship status on the communication process and of communication events on their relationships.



Varey, R. (1998), "Relational orientation in management: Re‐visiting the concepts of relationship and communication", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 119-139.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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