Do self-service technologies affect interfirm relationships? A B2B perspective
AbstractWhile considerable literature examines business-to business (B2B) relationships, the impact of technology on these relationships has lacked attention. IT has impacted the way businesses operate in a B2B context as well as influencing services by altering the way services are delivered. To understand the way in which Internet technology has impacted these B2B services, it is essential to examine its impact not only on business processes but on business relationships too. One technology, enabled by modern Internet technologies, which is changing the nature of business relationships is the increased use of self-service technologies (SSTs) or technology-enabled services, however, there is a shortage of research in the area in a B2B context. The discussion in this paper provides an overview of the impact of IT on business relationships, using Relationship Marketing theory to provide a theoretical framework. A qualitative study in the Australian banking industry provides findings relating to the theory. The findings of this study provide evidence that while traditional Relationship Marketing theory is still applicable for some business customers, new theory is required for business customers who do not seek relationships. With both practical and theoretical implications, the research detailed in this paper makes a useful contribution to the literature and indicates the necessity for further research to be developed which explores business customers who prefer to remain transaction-oriented, rather than develop interpersonal relationships.
Copyright (c) 2014 Raechel Johns
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