Relationship Productivity: Conceptual Understanding and Measurement (New)

Christian Grönroos, Hanken, School of Economics Finland
Pekka Helle, Hanken, School of Economics Finland
Katri Ojasalo, Laurea University of Applied Science, Finland

Relationship marketing is based on an underlying thought that by engaging in a relational business approach the supplier and the customer (and other parties involved) should be able to create a win-win situation. In order to achieve this, the general understanding of productivity as a firm-specific concept must be reconsidered. Measuring productivity for the supplier and customer separately easily leads to sub-optimization. In this project productivity in relationships is based on the notion of joint productivity (Helle, 2011), such that the productivity of a relationship is calculated as a combined measure of the reciprocal return on investments in the relationship, which then can be split into separate productivity measures for the actors involved.

As services are inherently relational and relationships cannot be developed and maintained without taking a service perspective on how the actors approach each other, the Ojasalo service productivity theory and the learning model of service productivity are used as a starting point in the project.


Grönroos, Christian and Helle, Pekka (2012): Return on relationships: conceptual understanding and measurement of mutual gains from relational business engagements. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 27, No. 5, pp. 403-441

Grönroos, Christian and Ojasalo, Katri (2004): Service productivity: toward a conceptualization of the transformation of inputs into economic results in services. Journal of Business Research, Vol. 54, No. 4, pp. 414-423

Grönroos, Christian and Ojasalo, Katri (2015): Service productivity as mutual learning. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 7, Nos. 2-3, pp. 296-311

Grönroos, Christian, Helle, Pekka and Ojasalo, Katri (2015): Paper for the 23rd International Colloquium in Relationship Marketing, Hanken School of Economics Finland, Helsinki, 15-17 September

Helle, Pekka (2011): Re-conceptualizing value creation: from industrial business logic to service business logic. Working paper 554, Hanken School of Economics Finland