Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Building a relational capability in business service relationships : the exploration of learning needs in stages of relationship development
Author: Zeniou, Maria
Awarding Body: University of Derby
Current Institution: University of Derby
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Context and Objectives: There is an increasing recognition that there is great potential in utilizing learning in client relationships as this can enable service providers to develop relational capabilities and more successfully manage relationships. Building on this premise, the present study argues that learning in relationships relates to the ability to learn from the local context to leverage relationship success. To do this, requires an understanding of what drives success in each stage of relationship development and how this can be achieved to ensure success. The aim of the research is to explore the potential for learning in business service relationships, through the exploration of learning needs relevant in stages of relationship development. Learning needs are defined as what service providers need to learn about how to leverage successful relationships at each stage of development. Research Methodology: The study employs two qualitative case studies of business service providers that provide contextually differing embedding conditions for relationships and learning. Data has been gathered through interviews with individual service providers, observation of practice and organisational documentation. The research undertaken explores service providers’ approach towards relationship development, with the aim of identifying critical factors influencing success in each relationship stage and corresponding opportunities for learning through the experiences and challenges faced by service providers in practice. Findings: Results highlights that learning from the local context is critical for managing relationship success. Critical success factors for each stage are identified from the experiences and challenges faced by service providers across the two cases. These are translated into learning needs for each stage that aim to guide service providers’ attempts to learn from the local context in order to inform and adapt their approach. The appreciation of learning needs in relation to the unique context of each organisation directs attention to corresponding guidelines for practice. The research concludes with the proposition of a theoretical model for learning in relationships as well as a practical learning needs framework that can be incorporated in service providers’ practices for managing client relationships. Importantly results suggest that becoming relationally capable requires a transition to embracing a learning orientation in terms of both philosophy and process. Research Relevance and Implications: The study extends the potential for the creation of a relational capability in business relationships through the exploration of learning needs. Findings suggest that relationship management can be viewed as a cyclical process of learning and adaptation where success at each stage rests on the ability to read and learn from the local context and engage in appropriate actions in practice. The study contributes towards practice, by providing a practical framework through which service providers can develop relational learning. Exploration and appreciation of learning needs in stages of relationship development can aid service providers in the establishment of appropriate approaches towards intervention or stimulation of relationship success.
Supervisor: Longbottom, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Learning Needs ; Drivers of Business Performance ; Stages of Relationship Development ; Business Service Relationships