Edited by Robert M. Morgan, Janet Turner Parish and George Deitz
Chapter 13: Anti-relationship marketing: understanding relationship-destroying behaviors
Prior research in marketing highlights the important role that relationship-marketing (RM) plays in building long-term,-successful customer-relationships. Relationship marketing generates positive word of mouth-and enhances the customer’s value to the firm by increasing the length,-breadth, and depth of the buying relationship (Bolton et al. 2003; Verhoef-2003; Palmatier 2008). Furthermore, RM enhances both customer trust-and commitment, leading to superior seller performance (Moorman et-al. 1992; Morgan and Hunt 1994; Sirdeshmukh et al. 2002). Given these-benefits, it is not surprising that most RM research emphasizes positive,-long-term,-and mutually beneficial relationships that enhance value.-Yet relationship research outside of marketing increasingly suggests-that negative behaviors may affect close relationships more than do positive-behaviors (Baumeister et al. 2001). For example, research into impression-formation repeatedly has confirmed a positive–negative asymmetry-effect (e.g. N.H. Anderson 1965; Skowronski and Carlston 1989), which-suggests that negative information receives more processing attention and-contributes more strongly to lasting impressions than does positive information. Research into successful marriages also finds that the absence of-negative behaviors more strongly relates to relationship quality than does-the presence of positive behaviors (Gottman 1979, 1994). Palmatier et al.’s-(2006) meta-analysis-from the marketing tradition supports this proposition;-of all the antecedents studied, conflict has the largest absolute impact-on relationship trust and commitment. The negative effects of conflict-tend to overshadow the positive benefits associated with all other RM-efforts.
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