Conflict handling in small firms’ foreign business relationships

Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek , Krzysztof Fonfara , Aleksandra Hauke-Lopes


The purpose of this paper is to indicate how conflicts in foreign business relationships are handled by small firms from a relational point of view and how these conflicts can be used by small firms in a positive way. The paper uses qualitative study and presents the results of in-depth interviews conducted with six small, Poland-based firms. The paper indicates the nature of conflicts in foreign business relationships from the perspective of small firms, including the sources of conflict and its outcomes. The main sources of conflict indicated include service or product quality, financial aspects of cooperation and cultural differences. The study exposes the existence of both negative (e.g. financial consequences) and positive (e.g. gaining new experience) outcomes of conflicts. It shows that positive conflict handling often constitutes a significant challenge for small firms and that the authors cannot really speak of one optimal method of conflict handling. Regardless of the method adopted, the costs involved should be taken into detailed consideration. Managing international relationships is a more challenging task compared with domestic ones, especially for smaller firms. The paper exposes the impact of two categories of conflict (called day-to-day problems and severe conflicts) in a foreign relationship on small firms and considers different methods of handling the conflict situations.
Author Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek (WGM / KMM)
Milena Ratajczak-Mrozek,,
- Department of International Marketing
, Krzysztof Fonfara (WGM / KMM)
Krzysztof Fonfara,,
- Department of International Marketing
, Aleksandra Hauke-Lopes (WGM / KMM)
Aleksandra Hauke-Lopes,,
- Department of International Marketing
Journal seriesJournal of Business & Industrial Marketing, [Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing], ISSN 0885-8624, e-ISSN 2052-1189, (N/A 70 pkt)
Issue year2019
Publication size in sheets0.6
Keywords in Polishmałe przedsiębiorstwa, konflikt, zagraniczne relacje biznesowe, współpraca przedsiębiorstw
Keywords in EnglishSmall firms, Conflict, Foreign business relationship, cooperation
ASJC Classification1403 Business and International Management; 1406 Marketing
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)70
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 70.0, 08-04-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 0; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 0.957; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 1.833 (2) - 2017=2.062 (5)
Citation count*4 (2020-09-25)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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