The Role of Selfishness in Buyer-Seller Realationships
MCB UP Ltd
Faculty of Business and Public Management
School of Accounting, Finance and Business Economics
Co‐operation is implicit in attempts to create ongoing buyer‐seller relationships, yet Darwinian theories have stressed the self‐centredness of man and social commentators have observed a trend away from collectivism towards individualism. Relationship marketing represents a dynamic tension between the forces of individualism and collectivism, yet the role of individualism and selfishness is relatively unexplored. This paper presents theoretical frameworks for their study. Impacts of selfishness on relationship marketing are discussed and suggestions made for how firms may reconcile selfishness with co‐operative strategies. It is argued that selfishness may be crucial to successful relationships and may produce greater economic welfare than pervasive collectivism.