Six Relationship Management Interaction Processes (Geersbro and Ritter) for International Relations

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Chloe Xu
Director, Australia

Six Relationship Management Interaction Processes (Geersbro and Ritter) for International Relations

A business or organizational process refers to a series of connected activities that convert organizational inputs to specific desired organizational outcomes. Geersbro and Ritter (2013) defined a six-step organizational process to manage relationships. I describe these steps below giving examples from the world of international relations (interactions of states in a global scenario), showing that from a process perspective, the management of international relations of entity with entities in foreign countries is quite similar to managing any kind of business relationship.
Here are the 6 relationship management interaction processes by Geersbro and Ritter
  1. SELLING/SOCIALIZING. The selling/socializing step starts from searching for and initiating contact to targeted audience, and it aims at coming into an agreement between the organization and one of its targets by creating its value proposition. In international relations, this can be seen as a process by which a national or regional authority identifies a strategic international counterpart, and tries to reach a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two parties on further exchange and cooperation.
  2. FORMING. With the hope of doing business with a more relational approach instead of the traditional transactional approach, organizations work hard to change the structure of business relationship, while stressing its own value proposition. The forming step may involve social arrangements to decrease the social and cultural distance, dispatching ambassadors to other countries or regions to decrease geographical distance, and increasing the involvement of civilians in the relationship to develop the interface between the two parties.
  3. DELIVERING. After the first steps have jointly developed a common understanding of and a platform for exchange and cooperation, the involved parties need to establish an institution that fulfills their value propositions. In international relations, most of the economic and cultural exchanges are delivered by other organizations and companions. Therefore, delivering is a critical step in a bilateral relationship but it is not controlled by the involved government authority.
  4. LINKING. Given the increasing importance of the open business model, a third party is often involved as complementor in order to fulfil a value proposition. For instance, a government authority may rely on colleges and universities to deliver education exchange programs, or on a public communication company for their social media campaign aimed at the targeted market.
  5. LEARNING. Knowledge management is an important part of a customer relationship management process. As organizations interact with each other during the lifetime of a business relationship, they learn about each other. A government authority involved in international relations ought to strive to continuously understand the other party’s needs and wants, create joint sense, and celebrate relationship specific memory.
  6. MONITORING. This step is about controlling fulfilment. Organizations, including government authorities, engaged in relationship management activities should now and then take a step back, and measure if and how their international relations management leads to desired outputs, and think about what can be done the next time to create a win-win scenario for economic and cultural exchange between the two parties.
Reference: Geersbro, J., Ritter, T., "A Conceptualization of Relationship Management Processes: Distinguishing Strategy Implementation Processes and Interaction Processes". Paper presented at The 29th Annual Conference on Industrial Marketing and Purchasing. IMP 2013, 2013

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