Various empirical studies have evidenced that interaction is a critical process in the development of buyer–seller relationships in business-to-business markets. Research examining the different aspects of interaction processes and the consequences of interaction in business relationships for the development of the businesses involved has tended to black-box the interaction process. Limited attention has been given to how interaction behaviors of individuals arise and the interplay between cognition and behaviors in interaction. At the same time, recent research offers some insights into the use and role of heuristics in contexts analogous to those individual actors face when they interact in business relationships. In this paper we review current research on interaction processes in business relationships as well as on heuristics in the management context and argue that focusing on heuristics used in interaction in business relationships offers valuable insights on how interaction behaviors emerge. In particular, we discuss the notion of heuristics as an “adaptive toolbox,” and how it relates to adaptations in business relationships. We also discuss implications for management and outline a future research agenda.
- Business relationships, Interaction, Cognition, Heuristics, Interaction behaviors