Relational capital facilitates the performance effects of R&D services
– Although relational capital is difficult and time-consuming to create, building open and close relationships is an important investment that has potential to increase the effectiveness of R&D collaboration, explains Professor Marko Kohtamäki.
– We highlight the need for transparency that facilitates confidence and improves the fit between customer expectations and supplier resources.
Relational capital is a relational form of social capital – based on trust, open interaction and feeling of shared purpose – between the supplier and customer. Shared strategy discussions, process development meetings, and relationship steering group meetings are examples of joint practices that facilitate the development of a shared purpose, open interaction and trust.
Using data from 91 supplier–customer relationships results demonstrate the importance of developing social capital and trust in customer relationships. Relational capital decreases transaction costs, increases productivity, increases prices and, thus, improves profitability. Results were published in the Industrial Marketing Management -journal.