Enlightened Communication Is the Key to Building Relationships

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communication theory, dialogue, narratives, paradigm shift

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The role of communication in relationship marketing is often presented as crucial, and yet, specifics of theories and concepts from the field of communication are scant. Furthermore, despite the intuitive appeal and face validity of relationship marketing and its large-scale implementation, both the theory and practice of relationship marketing seem to be fraught with problems that limit its impact in the marketplace. Consequently, the relationship-oriented approach to marketing threatens to become a case of an espoused theory instead of a theory in use. The authors contend that the complexity of the relationship marketing process exceeds the capabilities of its theories in use and suggest the broadening of the theoretical foundation of relationship marketing and consequent enhancement of its practical application by incorporating theories and ideas from the field of communication. The predominantly relational orientation of communication makes it a depository of concepts and ideas that can illuminate the nature of relationships and add to the conceptual and empirical basis of relationship marketing.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Relationship Marketing, v. 7, issue 2, p. 151-176