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Must we redefine the marketing concept in order to understand the value of relationships? Binding Customers to Project Networks – The Case of Content Production for Television

By Stephan Manning and Jörg Sydow


This paper proposes that managing customer relationships in project-based industries, such as the television industry, should be looked at in terms of managing project networks with pools of competent service providers. That is, the conventional dyadic view of customer relationship is extended towards a network perspective, which accounts for the fact that, in particular in dynamic and highly innovative industries, customers as well as suppliers, in order to stay competitive, must reconcile their needs for stability and flexibility in maintaining long-term relationships. This idea is developed from marketing concepts of customer relationship management and two concepts borrowed from structuration theory. With the help of these concepts essential binding practices are discussed in the context of project networks in the television industry. In terms of empirical evidence, this paper draws on a large number of expert interviews in the television industry and a particularly interesting case of a German production firm which, as an organizer of project networks, sustains customer relationships with all major television channels in Germany

Year: 2003
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