Regina C. McNally, A. Griffin
Dec 1, 2005
Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing
ABSTRACT This research is an exploratory investigation of institutional theory's role in business-to-business exchange forms, examining relationship marketing as a potential social institution influencing exchange decisions. Relationship marketing is relevant to evaluate in the context of business-to-business exchanges because of its history and importance in the marketing profession, suggesting that relationship marketing may be an institution for that profession. The extent of relationship marketing institutionalization across three professions is compared, revealing significant differences between two pairs and supporting the institutional theory proposition that professions diffuse institutions. Furthermore, the empirical results demonstrate an association between relationship marketing institutionalization and the dependent variables of joint action and cultural control, suggesting that relationship marketing institutionalization significantly impacts the form of business-to-business exchanges. Finally, the role of affective commitment, or an individual's psychological bonding to a profession or organization as an antecedent to relationship marketing institutionalization is supported.