Examples Of Structural Bonds

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Structural bonds are commonly seen in B2B settings. They are created by getting customers to align their way of doing things with the supplier’s own processes, thus linking the customer to the firm. This situation makes it more difficult for competitors to draw them away. Examples include joint investments in projects and sharing of information, processes, and equipment. Structural bonds (or learning relationships) are created by providing services to the client that are frequently designed right into the service delivery system for that client. Often structural bonds are created by providing customized services to the client that are technology-based and serve to make the client more productive. Allegiance Healthcare Corporation, a spin-off…show more content…
Structural bonds also can be generated when the two parties make investments that are not easy to terminate, or when it becomes difficult to terminate the relationship because of the complexity and cost of changing resources (Thrunbull and Wilson, 1989). Structural bonds are considered the highest level of relationship marketing because the fact that companies can consolidate their relationships with customers by adding structural bridges in addition to the financial and social bonds (Berry and Parasuraman, 1991, Berry, 1995). Structural bonds are necessary for organisations such as hotels because they provide value-adding services for customers that are not readily available in another place. Berry and Parasuraman (1991) maintain that such services are not only difficult, but also expensive for customers to provide for themselves. Liang and Wang (2005) also argue that value-adding services help customers to be more efficient and productive. They further maintain that competitors find difficulty to emulate such services due to the height costs in transformation. Furthermore, Peltier and Westfall (2000) point out that structural bond build feelings of what they called ‘empowerment’ and offer some level of psychological control of the buyer-seller relationship. This section summarised the literature related to the three types of relational bonds, which were included in the proposed theoretical model of this thesis. Relational bonds have been discussed in terms of how they defined in the literature, how they develop within the relationship process, and finally how they are divided to three different types – financial, social and structural. Hence, these three

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