Relationships, marketing and small business: an exploration of links in theory and practice.
Anderson, Alistair R.
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ZONTANOS, G. and ANDERSON, A. R., 2004. Relationships, marketing and small business: an exploration of links in theory and practice. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 7 (3), pp. 228-236.
This paper explores the links between the theory and practices of marketing and small business. The review of the literature highlights the close association of the more advanced conceptualisations of marketing, especially relationship marketing, and those of small business, particularly entrepreneurial small business. Given these theoretical similarities and the ensuing symmetry of actions and behaviours described in theory, the research question is posed, how does an appreciation of these links aid our understanding of entrepreneurial practices? The question is addressed by employing a participant observation methodology to create a case study of one small rural firm and by inductive analysis techniques. The findings show that it is difficult to disentangle or even to distinguish, the practice of relationship marketing from entrepreneurial action. This leads one to suggest that it may be useful to reconsider relationship marketing as a facet of entrepreneurship.