Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Kenneth Gossett


Relationship building is a fundamental component to develop successful businesses, although corrupt purchasing executives pay bribes in excess of $1.5 trillion dollars annually. The participants for this case study consisted of 10 national sales managers who have successfully implemented strategies to train suppliers in relationship building in a hotel in Greensville, South Carolina. The resource dependence theory grounded the study. The purpose of this single case study was to explore strategies a hotel owner in Greenville, South Carolina used to train managers on relationship building. Collection of data included 8 semi-structured telephone interviews and 2 video interviews that were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim, archived data, and field notes. Using a modified van Kaam method and methodological triangulation, 3 prominent themes were identified that included the appropriateness of relationship building activities to collect data critical to negotiations, the need to clarify unclear expectations, and developing an increased awareness of the gray areas for possible boundary violations between the vendor and the customer. The data from the results indicated the need for increased training to reduce the number of instances of unethical behavior perceived in relationship building activities. The implications for positive social change include the potential to increase the awareness of ethical issues in multicultural business settings on the part of national sales managers, which could decrease the rate of unethical behavior in the hospitality industry.