Max Weber the famous sociologist coined the term "iron cages" which has become the core metaphor used to describe bureaucracy. Bureaucratic policies make up the bars which combine to form the iron cage. This iron cage is the institutional policy environment in which B2B marketers operate. The question of how these policies affect B2B relationships is the overarching theme of this research. This study made use of a concept from organisational psychology, the psychological contract, which is increasingly gaining recognition as a helpful tool in B2B marketing.
The purpose of this research was to assist business leaders in determining how to manage the policies present in their organisations in order to help them strike a balance between internal control and customer focus.
The research design was quantitative and descriptive in nature. Online questionnaires were completed by 50 industrial marketing professionals from over ten different countries. The questionnaire tested these marketing professionals' perceptions of how six different policies affected their ability to maintain healthy psychological contracts with buyers.
The study found that certain internal company policies have a profound effect on marketing managers' ability to maintain even the most transactional B2B relationships. Furthermore the study proposes a model to assist business leaders in judging which internal company policies will help or hurt customer relationships so that they can exercise judgement in terms of which policies they allow to germinate within their organisations.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.