Marketing Exchange Relationships, Transactions, and Their Media

By Franklin S. Houston | Go to book overview

response frequency. Will the exchange of a hostage in return for a ransom payment increase the frequency of ransom payments under conditions of free choice? It is suggested the answer is no. Rather duress and altruistic gift giving might be better accommodated within a legal, psychological, social, or political paradigm in lieu of a marketing paradigm. Altruistic gift giving might possibly be considered marketing exchange if the act of giving is in return for past actions by others or expected future actions. However, altruism is taken to be behavior, as defined by Macneil ( 1974, 798), "carried out to benefit another without anticipation of rewards from external sources." In this case, no exchange takes place and altruistic behavior should not be considered part of the domain of the marketing discipline.

Reciprocal gift giving fits into the proposed domain of marketing. Reciprocal gift giving occurs across a small social distance and economic quid pro quo exchanges can occur across moderate social distance when the desires or needs of both parties can be mutually satisfied. Houston and Gassenheimer ( 1987) point out that exchange can occur even across great social distance, but the exchange may not be stable over time because an aggrieved party may attempt to alter the circumstances that allow for fraud or extortionist-like behavior by the other party. Houston and Gassenheimer ( 1987) are correct to recommend that marketing theory take into account the time dynamic nature of exchange utility, value, or potency of assortments that might be used to explain why certain exchange behaviors may be possible in the short term, or even long term if contractually obligated, but that eventually exchange-related behavior may be modified to such a point that the negative utility or potency of such behavior makes exchange no longer viable. This is similar to how social exchange theory emphasizes the longitudinal nature of exchange relationships, but it is the dynamic value of the tangibles being exchanged rather than the dynamic nature of social relationships that should be the primary focus of marketing.


This work has suggested two reasons that the domain of the marketing discipline should be limited to quid pro quo exchange. First, such limitation allows for more precise measurement of values and rewards while avoiding the error of reification. Second, such limitation allows for the use of private property concepts as a means to explain orderly and durable expectations in societal and individual behavior. A richly evolving framework presently exists in evolutionary economic and political literature that has not been fully integrated into current marketing literature. Although many assumptions of traditional neoclassical economic theory have been found to be inadequate, abandonment of present evolutionary economic thought, which relaxes traditional neoclassical economic assumptions, will be to marketing's disadvantage.

In comparison, including social exchange in the development of marketing theory gives rise to two problems. First, in a more general nature and the more difficult to overcome, social exchange proposes that intangible concepts be treated as tangible objects in acts of exchange without establishing the foundations for why such intangibles should be judged "thing-like" and thus commits the error of reification. Second, social exchange proponents have yet to relate systematically the exchange of intangibles to the concepts of values and rewards in such a


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Marketing Exchange Relationships, Transactions, and Their Media
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction ix
  • Note xiii
  • 1: The Marketing Taxonomy 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2: Comments on Extending the Domain of the Marketing Discipline 11
  • Conclusions 27
  • 3: Reciprocity within a Community 35
  • Concluding Comments 43
  • 4: Exchange as a Vital and Fundamental Consumer Behavior Phenomenon 45
  • Conclusion 54
  • Notes 54
  • Notes 57
  • 5: Refinements in the Model of Internal/External Market Exchange 59
  • Note 76
  • 6: Time, Potency, and Exchange: Making the Most of the Time Resource 77
  • Summary 98
  • 7: The Spatial Dimension 99
  • Summary 113
  • 8: The Evaluation Process and Its Impact on Decision Making in Exchange Relationships 117
  • Note 139
  • 9: How Exchange for Resale Differs from Exchange for Consumption 141
  • Conclusion 151
  • 10: Inequitable or Incomplete Social Marketing: The Case of Higher Education 153
  • Concluding Observations 162
  • Supplemental Reading 163
  • 11: Externalities of Exchange: Foundations for Future Study 167
  • Note 186
  • 12: Exchange: Ethical and Legal Foundations 189
  • Conclusion 210
  • Note 210
  • 13: An Examination of Exchange Media from an Historical Perspective 213
  • Note 224
  • 14: Some Ingestible and Other Types of Consumable Currencies 225
  • Conclusion 235
  • Notes 236
  • 15: The Changing Role of Legal Tender: An Historical Perspective 239
  • Conclusion 244
  • Notes 245
  • 16: Means of Payment in Marketing 247
  • Summary 264
  • Notes 265
  • Bibliography 267
  • Index 303
  • About the Contributors 315


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