Purpose - This paper aims to explore the role that inter-personal relationships play in promoting or hindering the dissolution of business relationships operating in the UK food industry.
Design/methodology/approach - The case study methodology was used to explore the dissolution of 11 business relationships and the role of interpersonal relationships therein.
Findings - The findings demonstrate the critical role of personal relationships in the dissolution processing, acting as a catalyst, a precipitator and an extenuating factor in the dissolution process.
Research limitations/implications - The case studies draw exclusively on the experiences and perceptions of suppliers to uncover the dynamics of dissolved business relationships. However, this is not surprising, given the sensitive nature of the subject. Moreover, the two-stage methodology used for identifying case study candidates should prove beneficial to other researchers in this area.
Practical implications - The case study findings illustrate that important though they are, personal relationships are a means to an end not an end in themselves. Failure to use close personal relationships to deliver commercial benefits leaves the supplier vulnerable.
Originality/value - This is one of very few papers to provide empirical evidence of the dissolution process in business relationships, using a novel case study methodology that may prove useful for other researchers working in this under-researched area.
- Interpersonal relations
- Buyer-seller relationships
- Food industry
- BUYER-SELLER RELATIONSHIPS
- RELATIONSHIP QUALITY
- SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS
- DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS
- MARKETING CHANNELS