The RelQual Model: A New Dimension in Explaining Social Interaction
This paper seeks to enhance the Social Exchange Theory based interaction network approach, which has been commonly used in the field of marketing. Early research on Social Exchange Theory posits that the theory stemmed from the perspective of psychology which focuses on individuals and their behavior rather than experience. However, empirical studies have indicated otherwise. Social interaction can operate on both individual and collective level (network level). The authors have thus focused the study on relationship marketing at network level (collective levels) which also included but not limited to relational development and maintenance rules. In addition, case studies, social exchange theory and resource dependency theory are also examined to provide a holistic understanding of the interaction-network approach perspective. Notwithstanding the perspective on the interaction-network approach, the type of relationships evolved between parties on individual, group and organizational level affects the term and quality of relationship. This aspect has enticed the authors to take a step further in probing on the scope within and what encompasses the relationships. RelQual model, an enhancement of existing theories and model has been coined by the authors that better explicate how relationship is built, maintained, evaluated and terminated at individual, group and organizational level.
Keywords: Social Exchange, Relationship Marketing, Interaction-Network Approach
Dr. Aloysius Lee
Lecturer, Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Temasek Polytechnic
HR Practitioner, Human Resource Department, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts