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The ties that bind: an attachment theory perspective of social bonds in tourism

The ties that bind: an attachment theory perspective of social bonds in tourism

Krolikowska, Ewa ORCID: 0000-0002-0739-2110 , Kuenzel, Sven and Morrison, Alastair M. ORCID: 0000-0002-0754-1083 (2019) The ties that bind: an attachment theory perspective of social bonds in tourism. Current Issues in Tourism, 23 (22). pp. 2839-2865. ISSN 1368-3500 (Print), 1747-7603 (Online) (doi:

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The management of personal business-to-business (B2B) relationships is an important yet under-researched issue in tourism. Social bonds which develop for a business partner when individuals work together can impact positively on maintaining the relationship with the business partner’s organization and prevent switching to a competitor. The literature suggests that the management of social bonds is especially significant for small tourism businesses. However there has been limited use of theory to explain what social bonds are and how they can be created. Attachment theory has been used extensively in researching personal relationships but in tourism, its application has been mainly limited to studies on place attachment. This research combines existing knowledge of social bonds and attachment theory to develop a multidimensional social bonds scale which was tested in three separate studies involving tourism and hospitality professionals. The results confirmed the existence of two distinct social bonds: the security bond and the closeness bond, and the scale items provide useful guidance for creating personalized strategies to manage B2B relationships with tourism partners. The new scale is proposed as an important tool to measure the strength of social bonds and recommendations are given on further tourism contexts where the scale could be tested.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: relationship management, social bond, attachment theory, B2B, security, closeness
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business
Faculty of Business > Department of Marketing, Events & Tourism
Faculty of Business > Tourism Research Centre
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2021 01:38

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