Main Article Content


Buyer-seller relationships play a pivotal role in relationship marketing, as their effective management can yield significant benefits for companies. Satisfaction is the linchpin that sustains these business relationships over time, yet it can be influenced by various factors, particularly negative behaviors known as “dark side” behaviors. These behaviors encompass actions such as concealing information, opportunism, exploiting the counterparty, causing confusion, sharing customer information without consent, providing misleading information, breaching privacy, levying unjustified charges, and withholding information from customers. The primary objective of this research is to explore the link between dark-side behaviors and satisfaction in business relationships among companies. To achieve this goal, we conducted a comprehensive systematic literature review, scrutinizing 43 articles that aligned with our search criteria. After careful selection, we focused on 30 articles published between 2010 and 2023. Within these articles, we identified the prevailing theories, authors, research methodologies, and limitations, and we also unearthed promising avenues for future research. In conclusion, our findings indicate that there isn’t a singular interpretation of the term “dark side” in commercial relationships. Thus, there is a pressing need to develop tools and frameworks that can pinpoint specific manifestations of dark side behaviors, especially those driven by personal or corporate gain, regardless of the potential harm they may inflict on a business partner within a collaborative relationship.

Carlos Javier Ayala-Regalado, Fundación Universitaria Ceipa

Professor, School of Management, CEIPA Powered by Arizona State University, Sabaneta Colombia. Psychologist, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali, Colombia, Master in Administration, Universidad de Medellín, Colombia. 

Ayala-Regalado, C. J. (2023). Satisfaction in Business Relationships Between Companies and Dark Side Behaviour: A Literature Review. Cuadernos De Administración, 39(77), e2211798.

Abdul, K., Gaur, S., & Peñaloza, L. (2015). The determinants of customer trust in buyer-seller relationships: An empirical investigation in rural India. Australasian Marketing Journal, 20(4), 303-313. DOI:

Abosag, I., Naudé, P. (2014). Development of special forms of B2B relationships: Examining the role of interpersonal liking in developing Guanxi and Et-Moone relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(6), 887-896. DOI:

Akrout, H., Diallo, M. (2017). Fundamental transformations of trust and its drivers: A multi-stage approach of business-to-business relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 66, 159-171. DOI:

Akrout, H., Diallo, M., Akrout, W., & Chandon, J. (2016). Affective trust in buyer-seller relationships: a two-dimensional scale. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 31(2), 260-273.

Ahmmed, K., Islam, S., Nor, A., Rahman, K., Ahmed, F., Kasabov, E., Singh, J., Jayanti, R., Kilgore, J., Agarwal, K., & Gandarvakottai, R. (2019). Toward a theoretical framework of relationship marketing in the business context. Market-Trziste, 31(2), 209-226. DOI:

Akrout, H., Diallo, M., Akrout, W., & Chandon, J. (2016). Affective trust in buyer-seller relationships: a two-dimensional scale. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 31(2), 260-273. DOI:

Anderson, J., Narus, J. (1990). A Model of the Distributor ’ s Perspective of Manufacturer Working Partnership. Journal of Marketing, 54, 42-58. DOI:

Anderson, E., Weitz, B. (1992). The use of pledges to build and sustain commitment in distribution channels. Journal of Marketing Research, 29(1), 18-34. DOI:

Autry, C., Griffis, S. (2008). Supply Chain Capital: The Impact of Structural and Relational Linkages on Firm Execution and Innovation. Journal of Business Logistics, 29, 157-173. DOI:

Bagozzi, R. (1975). Marketing as Exchange. Journal of Marketing, 39(4), 32-39. DOI:

Barnes, B., Leonidou, L., Siu, N., Noel, Y., & Leonidou, C. (2015). Interpersonal factors as drivers of quality and performance in western-Hong Kong interorganizational business relationships. Journal of International Marketing, 23(1), 23-49. DOI:

Barney, J. (1991). Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage. Journal of Management, 17, 120-199. DOI:

Baumeister, R., Bratslavsky, E., Finkenauer, C., & Vohs, K. (2001). Bad Is Stronger Than Good. Review of General Psychology, 5(4), 323-370. DOI:

Berry, L. (1995). Relationship marketing of services—growing interest, emerging perspectives. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 23(4), 236–245. DOI:

Boons, F., Chertow, M., Park, J., Spekkink, W., & Shi, H. (2016). Industrial Symbiosis Dynamics and the Problem of Equivalence: Proposal for a Comparative Framework: Industrial Symbiosis Dynamics. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21. DOI:

Brashear, T., Boles, J., Bellenger, D., & Brooks, C. (2003). An empirical test of trust-building processes and outcomes in sales manager-salesperson relationships. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 31(2), 189-200. DOI:

Cabral, S., Ribeiro, P., & Romão, S. (2019). Determinants of contract renewals in business-to-business relationships. RAUSP Management Journal, 55(4), 473-489. DOI:

Cook, K., Emerson, R. (1978). Power, Equity and Commitment in Exchange Networks. American Sociological Review, 43(5). DOI:

Corsaro, D. (2015). Negative aspects of business relationships for resource mobilization. Australasian Marketing Journal, 23(2), 148-154. DOI:

Chung, H., Wang, C., Huang, P., & Yang, Z. (2016). Organizational capabilities and business performance: When and how does the dark side of managerial ties matter? Industrial Marketing Management, 55. DOI:

Davis-Sramek, B., Droge, C., Mentzer, J., & Myers, M. (2009). Creating commitment and loyalty behavior among retailers: What are the roles of service quality and satisfaction? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 37(4), 440-454. DOI:

Dou, W., Li, H., Zhou, N., & Su, C. (2010). Exploring relationship satisfaction between global professional service firms and local clients in emerging markets. Journal of International Business Studies, 41(7), 1198-1217. DOI:

Duriau, V. J., Reger, R. K., & Pfarrer, M. D. (2007). A content analysis of the content analysis literature in organization studies: Research themes, data sources, and methodological refinements. Organizational Research Methods, 10(1). DOI:

Dutta, S., Kumar Das, S., & Akarte, M. (2020). Prioritisation of success factors to sustain buyer-supplier dyadic relationship and its impact on business performance. International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 35(4), 526-540. DOI:

Dwyer, F. R., Schurr, P. H., & Oh, S. (1987). Developing Buyer-Seller Relationships. Journal of Marketing, 51(2), 11. DOI:

Edwards, A. (1953). The relationship between the judged desirability of a trait and the probability that the trait will be endorsed. Journal of Applied Psychology, 37(2), 90-93. DOI:

Emerson, R. (1976). Social Exchange Theory. Engaging Theories in Family Communication, 2, 335-362. DOI:

Farrelly, F., Quester, P. (2005). Examining important relationship quality constructs of the focal sponsorship exchange. Industrial Marketing Management, 34(3), 211-219. DOI:

Frow, P., Payne, A., Wilkinson, I., & Young, L. (2011a). Customer management and CRM: Addressing the dark side. Journal of Services Marketing, 25(2), 79-89. DOI:

Frow, P., Payne, A., & Storbacka, K. (28-30 November, 2011b). Co-creation: a typology and conceptual framework. Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy [ANZMAC].

Ford, D., Gadde, L., Hakansson, H. & Snehota, I., (2003). Managing Business Relationships (2 ed.). John Wiley & Sons.

Ganesan, S. (1994). Determinants of Long-Term in Buyer-Seller Orientation Relationships. Journal of Marketing, 58(2), 1-19. DOI:

Gao, W., Liu, Y., & Qian, L. (2016). The personal touch of business relationship: A study of the determinants and impact of business friendship. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 33(2), 469-498. DOI:

Gazdecki, M. (2018). Factors of business relationships change in agribusiness input distribution channel. IMP Journal, 12, 567-582. DOI:

Gërdoçi, B., Skreli, E., Zhllima, E., & Imami, D. (2017). Determinants of long-term business relationships in the dairy value chain in transition countries: the case of Albania. Studies in Agricultural Economics, 119(3), 139-147. DOI:

Gërdoçi, B., Panariti, S., & Skreli, E. (2015). Relational ties - an empirical test of the role of transaction cost and network determinants in sustainable vertical business relationships in Albania. New Medit, 14(2), 55-64.

Geyskens, I., Steenkamp, J. (2000). Economic and social satisfaction: Measurement and relevance to marketing channel relationships. Journal of Retailing, 76(1), 11-32. DOI:

Grönroos, C. (1994). From Marketing Mix to Relationship Marketing: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Marketing. Management Decision, 32(2). DOI:

Hakansson, H., Snehota, I. (1995). Developing Relationships in Business Networks. Routledge.

Hallén, L. Sandström, M., 1991. New perspectives on international marketing. Routledge.

Hallén, L., Wiedersheim-Paul, F. (2003). Psychic Distance and Buyer-Seller Interaction. In International Business. Routledge.

Homburg, C, Tischer, M. (2023). Customer journey management capability in business-to-business markets: Its bright and dark sides and overall impact on firm performance. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 51. DOI:

Homburg, Christian, Wieseke, J., & Hoyer, W. D. (2009). Social Identity and the Service–Profit Chain. Journal of Marketing, 73(2), 38-54. DOI:

Hoque, M. A. (2011). An optimal solution technique to the single-vendor multi-buyer integrated inventory supply chain by incorporating some realistic factors. European Journal of Operational Research, 215(1), 80-88. DOI:

Huderek-Glapska, S., Nowak, H. (2016). Airport and low-cost carrier business relationship management as a key factor for airport continuity: The evidence from Poland. Research in Transportation Business and Management, 21(2), 44-53. DOI:

Hussain, K., Jing, F., Junaid, M., Shi, H., & Baig, U. (2020). The buyer–seller relationship: a literature synthesis on dynamic perspectives. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 35(4), 669-684. DOI:

Hutchinson, D., Singh, J., Svensson, G., & Mysen, T. (2011). Antecedents and postcedents of satisfaction in business relationships in Canada. International Journal of Logistics Economics and Globalisation, 3(4), 189. DOI:

Jena, S., Guin, K., & Dash, S. (2011). Effect of relationship building and constraint-based factors on business buyers’ relationship continuity intention: A study on the Indian steel industry. Journal of Indian Business Research, 3(1), 22-42.

Johanson, J. (1982). Svensk processteknik - A Case about Marketing of Equipment to the Process Industry. In H. Håkansson (Ed.), International Marketing and Purchasing of Industrial Goods: An Interaction Approach (pp. 188-195). John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Kumar, N., Stern, L., & Achrol, R. (1992). Assessing Reseller Performance from the Perspective of the Supplier. Journal of Marketing Research, 29(2), 238. DOI:

Kuo, Y., Kuo, T., Ho, L., Yu, M., Rad, M., Seyedesfahani, M., Jalilvand, M., Jena, S., Guin, K., & Dash, S. (2011). Effect of relationship building and constraint-based factors on business buyers’ relationship continuity intention: A study on the Indian steel industry. Journal of Indian Business Research, 3(1), 22. DOI:

Kumar, N., Scheer, L., & Steenkamp, J. (1995). The Effects of Perceived Interdependence on Dealer Attitudes. Journal of Marketing Research, 32(3), 348. DOI:

Lawson, B., Tyler, B., & Cousins, P. (2008). Antecedents and consequences of social capital on buyer performance improvement. Journal of Operations Management, 26(3), 446-460). DOI:

Leonidou, L., Aykol, B., Fotiadis, T., Christodoulides, T., & Zeriti, A. (2017). Betrayal in international buyer-seller relationships: Its drivers and performance implications. Journal of World Business, 52(1), 28-44. DOI:

Leonidou, L., Aykol, B., Spyropoulou, S., & Christodoulides, P. (2017). The power roots and drivers of infidelity in international business relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 78, 198-212. DOI:

Leonidou, L., Kaleka, A. (1998). Behavioural aspects of international buyer‐seller relationships: their association with export involvement. International Marketing Review, 15, 373-397. DOI:

Leonidou, L., Palihawadana, D., Chari, S., & Leonidou, C. (2011). Drivers and outcomes of importer adaptation in international buyer-seller relationships. Journal of World Business, 46(4), 527-543. DOI:

McCord, P., & Gunderson, D. (2014). Factors that Most Affect Relationships with General Contractors on Commercial Construction Projects: Pacific Northwest Subcontractor Perspectives. International Journal of Construction Education and Research, 10(2), 126-139. DOI:

Marketing Science Institute. (2021). Research Priorities 2018-2021.

Mattingly, B., Wilson, K., Clark, E., Bequette, A., & Weidler, D. (2010). Foggy faithfulness: Relationship quality, religiosity, and the perceptions of dating infidelity scale in an adult sample. Journal of Family Issues, 31(11), 1465-1480. DOI:

McGovern, G., Moon, Y. (2007). Companies and the customers who hate them. Harvard Business Review.

Miocevic, D. (2020). How relational drivers affect relationship value in key exporter-importer relationships: a dark side perspective. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 36(11), 2086-2097. DOI:

Mysen, T., Svensson, G. (2010). RELQUAL’s impact on satisfaction in Norwegian business relationships. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 25(2), 119-131. DOI:

Mysen, T., Svensson, G., Rindell, A., & Billström, A. (2015). Antecedents’ and “postcedents” in relation to satisfaction in Norwegian business relationships. International Journal of Procurement Management, 8(5), 627-642. DOI:

Ng, E. (2012). An Empirical Study on the Success Factors of Supplier-Distributor Relationships. Contemporary Management Research, 8(2), 161-180. DOI:

Orlova, L., Gagarinskaya, G., Mikheeva, M., & Yelyakov, A. (2015). Regional peculiarities of business relationships of the Russian entrepreneur: Sociological aspect. Indian Journal of Science and Technology, 8(10). DOI:

Palmatier, R. W., Dant, R. P., Grewal, D., & Evans, K. R. (2006). Factors influencing the effectiveness of relationship marketing: A meta-analysis. Journal of Marketing, 70(4), 136-153. DOI:

Payne, A., Frow, P. (2017). Relationship marketing: looking backwards towards the future. Journal of Services Marketing, 31(1), 11-15. DOI:

Pels, J., Moller, K., & Saren, M. (2009). Do we really understand business marketing? Getting beyond the RM and BM matrimony. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 24(5/6), 322-336. DOI:

Pérez-Rave, J. (2018). Revisión sistemática de literatura en ingeniería. Iddinov.

Piricz, N. (2018). Affecting determinants of trust in business relationships. Serbian Journal of Management, 13(2), 281-291. DOI:

Piwoni-Krzeszowska, E. (2014). Zarządzanie wartością relacji przedsiębiorstwa z rynkowymi interesariuszami – aspekt procesu tworzenia wartości. Nauki o Zarządzaniu, 1(18). DOI:

Poddar, A., Donthu, N., & Parvatiyar, A. (2013). Drivers of trade promotion receptiveness: The role of relationship and trade promotion satisfaction. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 21(1), 45-56. DOI:

Prahalad, C. (1990). The core competencies of the corporation. Harvard Business Review.

Rachman, S. (2010). Betrayal: A psychological analysis. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 48(4), 304-311). DOI:

Schilke, O., Hu, S., & Helfat, C. (2017). Quo Vadis, Dynamic Capabilities? A Content-Analytic Review of the Current State of Knowledge and Recommendations for Future Research. The Academy of Management Annals, 12(2). DOI:

Sellitto, M., Murakami, F., Butturi, M., Marinelli, S., Jr, N., & Rimini, B. (2021). Barriers, drivers, and relationships in industrial symbiosis of a network of Brazilian manufacturing companies. Sustainable Production and Consumption, 26, 443-454. DOI:

Sheth, J. (2011). The double helix of marketing: The complementary relationship between marketing history and marketing theory. Marketing Theory, 11(4), 503–505.

Sheth, J., Parvatiyar, A. (1995). The evolution of relationship marketing. International Business Review, 4(4), 397-418.

Raeside, R., Khan, M. (2015). Determinants of Entrepreneurial Business Relationships Success. International Journal of Business and Society, 16(1), 1-18. DOI:

Ranaweera, C., Prabhu, J. (2003). On the relative importance of customer satisfaction and trust as determinants of customer retention and positive word of mouth. Journal of Targeting, Measurement and Analysis for Marketing, 12, 82-90. DOI:

Roberts-Lombard, M., Mpinganjira, M., & Svensson, G. (2019). The antecedents and postcedents of satisfaction in business-to-business relationships in South Africa. South African Journal of Business Management, 50(1), 1-11. DOI:

Sales-Baptista, C., Sales Baptista, C. (2014). Product importance and complexity as determinants of adaptation processes in business relationships. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 29(1), 75-87. DOI:

Seres-Huszárik, E., Józsa, L., & Tóth, Z. (2017). Factors determining the development of business relationships in the advertising market. Acta Polytechnica Hungarica, 14(8), 65-82. DOI:

Sharafizad, J., Standing, C. (2017). Determinants of relationship marketing by women small business owners. Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 29(4), 271-291. DOI:

Sharma, P., Kingshott, R., Leung, T., & Malik, A. (2022). Dark side of business-to-business (B2B) relationships. Journal of Business Research, 144. DOI:

Sheth, J. (2011). The double helix of marketing: The complementary relationship between marketing history and marketing theory. Marketing Theory, 11(4), 503-505. DOI:

Sheth, J., Parvatiyar, A. (1995). The evolution of relationship marketing. International Business Review, 4(4), 397-418. DOI:

Shou, Z., Guo, R., Zhang, Q., & Su, C. (2011). The many faces of trust and guanxi behavior: Evidence from marketing channels in China. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(4), 503-509. DOI:

Swann Jr., W., Gill, M. (1997). Confidence and accuracy in person perception: Do we know what we think we know about our relationship partners? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(4), 747-757). DOI:

Tangpong, C., Michalisin, M., Traub, R., & Melcher, A. (2015). A review of buyer-supplier relationship typologies: Progress, problems, and future directions. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 30(2), 153-170. DOI:

Tranfield, D., Denyer, D., & Smart, P. (2003). Towards a Methodology for Developing Evidence-Informed Management Knowledge by Means of Systematic Review. British Journal of Management, 14(3). DOI:

Turnbull, P., Ford, D., & Cunningham, K. (1996). Interaction, relationships and networks in business markets: an evolving perspective. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 11(3/4), 44-62. DOI:

Villena, V., Choi, T., & Revilla, E. (2020). Mitigating Mechanisms for the Dark Side of Collaborative Buyer‐Supplier Relationships: A Mixed‐Method Study. Journal of Supply Chain Management, 57. DOI:

Villena, V., Revilla, E., & Choi, T. (2011). The Dark Side of Buyer-Supplier Relationships: A Social Capital Perspective. Journal of Operations Management, 29, 561-576. DOI:

Visentin, M., Scarpi, D. (2012). Determinants and mediators of the intention to upgrade the contract in buyer-seller relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(7), 1133-1141. DOI:

Williamson, O. (1991). Comparative economic organization: the analysis of discrete structural alternatives. Administrative Science Quarterly, 36, 269-296. DOI:

Whipple, J., Lynch, D., & Nyaga, G. (2010). A buyer’s perspective on collaborative versus transactional relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, 39(3), 507-518. DOI:

Yilmaz, C., Hunt, S. (2001). Salesperson cooperation: The influence of relational, task, organizational, and personal factors. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 29(4), 335-357. DOI:

Zhang, Y., Leischnig, A., Heirati, N., & Henneberg, S. (2021). Dark-side-effect contagion in business relationships. Journal of Business Research, 130, 260-270.

Zhang, J., Watson, G., Palmatier, R., & Dant, R. (2016). Dynamic relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, 80(5). DOI:

Zhang, Y., Leischnig, A., Heirati, N., & Henneberg, S. (2021). Dark-side-effect contagion in business relationships. Journal of Business Research, 130, 260-270. DOI:

Zunk, B. (2015). Exploration of factors influencing the customers’ motivation in buyer-supplier relationships on industrial markets. International Journal of Engineering Business Management, 7, 1-6. DOI:

Received 2021-12-03
Accepted 2023-12-13
Published 2023-12-13