Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Pervan, SJ, Bove, LL & Johnson, LW 2004, 'Conceptualising the role of reciprocity in relationship marketing: an examination of its supporting virtues', in J Wiley & P Thirkell (eds), Marketing accountabilities and responsibilities: Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy (ANZMAC) Conference, Wellington, New Zealand, 29 November - 2 December, Victoria University of Wellington Press, Wellington, New Zealand.


One possible “kind” of marketing relationship occurs where a norm of reciprocity is upheld. The norm states that “we should return good for good, in proportion to what we receive; we should resist evil, but not do evil in return; we should make reparation for the harm we do;...furthermore that obligations should be felt in retrospect” (Becker, 1990, p.4). The appeal of this kind of exchange is that it provides the participants with traits that enable them to pursue excellence in moral behaviour. Making the assumption that societal goal is good moral citizenship; this could be the perfect relationship. It is therefore a good starting point toward examining other types. However, “Reciprocity, taken by itself is insufficient for its own purposes” (Becker, 1986, p.150). It relies on a number of supporting virtues. This paper builds on previous work that conceptualises the role of reciprocity in relationship marketing by examining these virtues. For the norm to effectively stabilize marketing relationships it relies on the presence of other virtues, these include, generosity, conviviality, empathy, and practical wisdom (Becker, 1986). These traits are explored within the context of reciprocity and supporting relationship marketing literature.

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