The Flip Side of Commercial Friendships
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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When firms cultivate close relationships with customers, often called commercial friendships, they also introduce expectations of mutual altruism, although lower than when a relationship is perceived as a pure friendship. These strategies, in which the customer relationship only gives a semblance of friendship, but in essence is more a strategy with economic interests, is found to have devastating consequences. Due to the expectation of mutual altruism, self-interest-seeking behavior is considered a violation and a commercial friend now becomes a person who desires to seek revenge, spread negative word of mouth and dissolve the relationship.