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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Dark side effect contagion of business relationships

Published: May 28, 2019


Yumeng Zhang, Queen Mary University of London; Stephan Henneberg, Queen Mary University of London; Alexander Leischnig, Queen Mary University of London; Nima Heirati, Queen Mary University of London


dark side effect; business relationships; contagion


Research on the dark side of close business relationships has mostly relied on a dyadic perspective, thus assuming that a business relationship (and any dark side effect) is an isolated phenomenon. However, the embeddedness of business relationships in other relationships within business networks, i.e. the interplay between such relationships means that issues around the dark side could have wider implications. Against this background, this paper introduces the concept of dark side effect contagion to better understand how dark side effects can transmit in relationship portfolios. The research contributes conceptually by developing a framework considering inter-organisational and intra-/inter-personal levels, and by illuminating mechanisms that stimulate the spread of dark side effects within and across relationship portfolios.