The concept of attraction has received surprisingly little attention within business relationship research. Yet, recently, more and more authors have argued that attraction may contribute to the motivation and willingness of a buyer and supplier to engage in and develop a business relationship. However, the concept of attraction is relatively new and there have been diverse interpretations of it. This literature review collates those interpretations with the aim of enhancing current understanding and creating fundamental knowledge of the current streams of literature on the concept. In examining how the concept has been investigated, the paper aims to establish the direction that the understanding and use of the concept of attractiveness may take in the future in the context of business research. The literature review indicates that attraction has been used in three research areas to explain or resolve a particular construct: 1) attraction in the development of buyer-supplier relationships, 2) customer attractiveness to suppliers, and 3) attractiveness in portfolio and key account management. This literature review contributes to the understanding of how knowledge of the power of attraction could enrich the theory and practice of business relationships. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Industrial Marketing Management, 2012, Vol 41, Issue 8, p. 1206-1218