What's in a handshake? Exploring business-to-business relational exchange

Anouche Newman, Ian Lings, Nick J. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite its importance in the development of competitive advantage, attempts to unify diverse classifications of business-to-business relational exchange (B2B RE) have been largely unsuccessful. We used 18 semi-structured, in-depth interviews with managers from a range of industries to explore the B2B RE construct. Analysis of the data revealed that B2B RE comprises five key dimensions. These are communication, understanding, commitment, trust and power symmetry. The research identifies the importance of personal interaction in business relationships and provides additional insights into the importance of affective commitment. In addition we uncover a number of negative consequences of affective commitment, which have been previously unexplored. This research contributes to the domain of B2B research by synthesising and advancing knowledge in this area to provide a new conceptual framework of B2B RE and directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-144
Number of pages16
JournalMarketing Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2005


  • business-to-business
  • relationship marketing
  • relational exchange
  • interviews


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