Business relationships the Morrisey Way

Hingley, Martin and Leek, Sheena and Lindgreen, Adam (2008) Business relationships the Morrisey Way. British Food Journal, 110 (1). pp. 128-143. ISSN 0007-070X

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the “human factor” inherent in
business-to-business relationships and its impact on the key phases of business relationships:
relationship attraction and initiation; relationship development; and relationship dissolution.
Design/methodology/approach – Interpretation is made by utilising the song lyrics of the prolific
English singer Morrissey as a template for interpersonal relationship structures that can be applied to
interpersonal business-to-business relationships.
Findings – Highlighted are findings from recent case investigations into business-to-business
relationships where the “human factor” is particularly important in maintaining business interaction.
The findings show that key concepts relating to business-to-business relationships (the need to enter
relationships, power and dependency, and relationship break-up) are not always in the realms of
corporate rational thinking. Alternatively, business decisions owe much to the less rational and more
emotional world of interpersonal relations.
Research limitations/implications – This paper is a combination of both theoretical and practical
study, but is only a starting-point in terms of necessary empiricism. The paper concludes with
suggestions of further necessary empirical investigation.
Practical implications – Practical lessons include a challenge to the view that there is a “right” and
correct formula to engage in business relationships and the route to relationship success. Practical
reality and human nature determine that even incrementally successful relationships can break down,
and gains can be quickly reversed.
Originality/value – This paper takes the important theme of business relationships and underpins
it with a novel treatment: the use of song lyrics, in order to highlight that prior and somewhat
formulaic templates for business success are not always appropriate; and business relationships are
governed by a human factor that is not always positive in outlook.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the “human factor” inherent in business-to-business relationships and its impact on the key phases of business relationships: relationship attraction and initiation; relationship development; and relationship dissolution. Design/methodology/approach – Interpretation is made by utilising the song lyrics of the prolific English singer Morrissey as a template for interpersonal relationship structures that can be applied to interpersonal business-to-business relationships. Findings – Highlighted are findings from recent case investigations into business-to-business relationships where the “human factor” is particularly important in maintaining business interaction. The findings show that key concepts relating to business-to-business relationships (the need to enter relationships, power and dependency, and relationship break-up) are not always in the realms of corporate rational thinking. Alternatively, business decisions owe much to the less rational and more emotional world of interpersonal relations. Research limitations/implications – This paper is a combination of both theoretical and practical study, but is only a starting-point in terms of necessary empiricism. The paper concludes with suggestions of further necessary empirical investigation. Practical implications – Practical lessons include a challenge to the view that there is a “right” and correct formula to engage in business relationships and the route to relationship success. Practical reality and human nature determine that even incrementally successful relationships can break down, and gains can be quickly reversed. Originality/value – This paper takes the important theme of business relationships and underpins it with a novel treatment: the use of song lyrics, in order to highlight that prior and somewhat formulaic templates for business success are not always appropriate; and business relationships are governed by a human factor that is not always positive in outlook.
Keywords:Food industry, Interpersonal relations, Customer satisfaction, Buyer-seller relationships
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N500 Marketing
W Creative Arts and Design > W350 Musicology
N Business and Administrative studies > N211 Strategic Management
Divisions:College of Social Science > Lincoln Business School
ID Code:4260
Deposited By: Rosaline Smith
Deposited On:21 Mar 2011 14:43
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:40

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