Using structuration theory to analyse relationship value creation
Baxter, R; Olesen, K
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There has been growth in research into relationship value in both the business to consumer and business to business contexts, but research is still sparse into the relationship processes by which value is created at the level of boundary personnel as individual actors. Most of the research reported to date is at the level of the firm and of relationships between firms, so the important human element of value creation is largely missing. The sparseness of research is apparent both with respect to the processes by which value is transferred from one partner to the other and also with respect to the processes by which value may be created within the relationship itself. As a complement to existing theory, including the IMP frameworks, Giddens' structuration theory can help to develop explanations of how actors interact with firm and relationship structures. Giddens' theory can thus be applied to buyer-seller relationships to analyse how boundary personnel accomplish value creation on the basis of the activity links and resource ties between relationship partners. This paper suggests that this is a useful approach to filling gaps in the knowledge of value creation in business to business buyer-seller relationships.