Spatial and temporal specificity and transferability: structuration as the relationship marketing meta-theory

Article English OPEN
Nicholson, John ; Lindgreen, Adam ; Kitchen, Philip (2009)

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to apply pragmatic and practical perspectives to the transferability of research findings by examining the potential of structuration to serve as the relationship marketing meta-theory.\ud \ud Design/methodology/approach – The paper revisits the advanced subjectivist critique of functionalism as the dominant research paradigm before challenging the apparent fortification of the interpretivist paradigm and, in so doing, highlights interpretivism's weaknesses when dealing with social structures.\ud \ud Findings – With the proposed model, relationship marketing researchers, using structuration theory, can recognize the temporal and spatial specificity – and thereby transferability – of interactions and relationships. Structuration is academically rigorous and pragmatic, because it avoids the distraction of the largely academic paradigm wars.\ud \ud Research limitations/implications – By addressing the often-noted spatial and temporal limitations of relationship marketing research, this research responds to calls for longitudinal research. The model offers the potential for examining historical interactions and relationships to gain insight into the constraining and enabling forces of social structures.\ud \ud Practical implications – The use of a multi-paradigm perspective is more pragmatic than a single paradigm investigation. Using structuration as that multi-paradigm perspective, a relationship marketing researcher can gain greater insight into the spatial and temporal specificity and transferability of research findings. Researchers thus may assess the limitations of implementing marketing practice on the basis of the findings they gain from one space and time context in a different space and time context.\ud \ud Originality/value – A paper discussing structuration is a rarity among marketing literature. This paper is the first to outline the potential use of structuration as the meta-theory in relationship marketing research.
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