The key role of human resources policies and practices in implementing a relationship marketing orientation

Oriol Iglesias Bedós, Fathima Saleem

Research output: Conference paperContribution


The limitations of the transactional approach to marketing in services and industrial settings gave rise to a relationship marketing (RM) paradigm (Grönroos 1997), which emphasizes building, maintaining, and enhancing relationships between the company and its customers at a profit (e.g., Berry 1983; Grönroos 1990). RM has received a lot of attention in the literature for various reasons (Berry 1995), however there is a clear need for more empirical research on how to support the implementation of a relationship marketing orientation (RMO) internally in organizations (Sin et al. 2005). The existence of a supportive corporate culture seems to be essential for the successful development of a RMO (e.g. Iglesias, Sauquet, and Montaña 2011; Day 2000; Piercy 1998; Winklhofer, Pressey, and Tzokas 2006). In this regard, some authors have discussed they key corporate values that could promote a relational orientation (Grönroos 1994; Iglesias, Sauquet, and Montaña 2011). However, the main shortcoming of these studies is that they only focus on the relevance of a corporate culture that can facilitate a RMO, but do not place emphasis on the human resources management (HRM) policies and practices that managers should promote to define and reinforce this corporate culture. Therefore, this study aims to identify the internally consistent HR policies and practices that define, develop, and reinforce a corporate culture that promotes and facilitates a RMO. Due to the lack of research in this specific field, this study leans towards adopting an exploratory and interpretative methodology, following the principles of grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967; Strauss and Corbin, 2007). The data consists of 58 in-depth interviews spanning three case studies in the hotel industry. The results suggest that the key HRM policies that support a RMO are: recruitment, training, internal communications, promotion, and compensation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2013
Event2013 AMS Annual Conference -
Duration: 15 May 201318 May 2013


Conference2013 AMS Annual Conference


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