An examination of the marketing and relationship marketing concepts, by analysing power, disciplining and compliance in customer-provider relations

  • E. R. Kasabov

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD by Publication


    The main aim of this thesis, "An Examination of the Marketing and Relationship Marketing Concepts, by Analysing Power, Disciplining and Compliance in Customer-Provider Relations‟, is to expand knowledge and thinking in the subject area of marketing by researching power, disciplining and compliance in relations between customers and providers. As such, it is part of current developments in marketing theory, as the following discussion will illustrate. Marketing is a dynamic and evolving discipline (Saunders and Lee 2005) and has been enriched by the introduction of significant new topics such as consumer passion, longing, gift giving, and history of ownership (Belk et al. 2003; Lowrey et al. 2004). The "variety and eclecticism‟ in current marketing research (Saunders and Lee 2005) have been achieved partly by drawing on frameworks, concepts and models developed in other disciplines (Baumgartner 2002). In recent years, "a more open minded attitude to research‟ and "methodological relaxation‟ have been encouraged (Tapp and Hughes 2008), and new methodological approaches have been explored (e.g. Thompson 1998, 2002; Sherry and Schouten 2002). Moreover, the supremacy of experimental-nomothetic methodological positions of quantification is being questioned (Fournier and Glenn Mick 1999) and, even though quantitative research continues to dominate (Hanson and Grimmer 2007), previously "unconventional‟ methodologies such as narrative analysis and hermeneutical frameworks demonstrate the growing acceptability of a wider range of methodologies (Saunders and Lee 2005). Such developments in marketing thought and approaches result from the identification of weaknesses or gaps in the conventional received wisdom on the subject (Wells 1993), and so place existing interpretations under scrutiny (Dawes and Brown 2000). However, commentators suggest that further growth and development are required. For instance, while Svensson (2006) argues that traditionalism still predominates, Tapp and Hughes (2004) and Katsiekas et al. (2007) invite scholars to analyse new topics and areas which are pertinent to practitioners and which contribute to a better understanding of marketing practice. At stake is the degree to which marketing research offers practitioners and society something "novel‟ and "of relevance‟ (Gummesson 2005). For marketing thinking to develop further, topics which are as yet inadequately researched need to be analysed more systematically (Katsiekas et al. 2007). An example of such a topic is the expression of power, influencing, disciplining and relational problems during interactions between customers and providers (Brown et al. 2000; Keysuk 2000; Ivens and Blois 2004). Though present in marketing theory, there are aspects of power which deserve greater attention. Examples of such issues are the types of power applied by providers and the ways in which providers design and carry out the disciplining of consumers during interactions in order to make them more compliant. These are the issues addressed in this thesis.
    Date of Award2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Coventry University
    SupervisorTom Donnelly (Supervisor)


    • Marketing theory
    • Customer compliance
    • Customer relations
    • Provider relations

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