Resource acquisition strategies in business relationships

Ghasem Zaefarian, Stephan C. Henneberg, Peter Naudé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Integrating the IMP Group approach with aspects of the resource-based view of the firm, we seek to develop and test a typology of relationship strategies based on different resource acquisition foci. For this purpose, we conducted interviews with thirty CEOs and other senior marketing managers in the UK and the USA. In-depth content analysis identified five main resource acquisition strategies (RAS) behind building business relationships: money bonds, new market bonds, utilization bonds, intellectual bonds, and credibility bonds. We further carried out a quantitative study with 658 senior managers in the USA to test for the generalizability of our findings. Results of a one-way repeated ANOVA and multinomial logistic regression analysis show significant differences between the five RAS for business relationships. However, a pair-wise comparison provides evidence for the existence of hybrid strategies. In addition, an investigation of the association between the RAS of business relationships on the one hand, and business strategy on the other, revealed equifinality of alternative business strategies vis-à-vis the applied relationship strategy. Finally, our analysis revealed no significant differences between the distributions of RAS types for knowledge intensive versus non-knowledge intensive business services. However, we found that RAS distribution is significantly associated with company size. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)862-874
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Business relationships
  • Business strategy
  • Relationship strategy
  • Resource acquisition strategy
  • Resource-based view


Dive into the research topics of 'Resource acquisition strategies in business relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this