The rapid and continuous deterioration of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria in the last four decades has been a major source of concern for the government and practitioners. Hence, the region has been the subject of continuous conflicts and violence between the host communities and the oil producing companies. Despite the effort of the government and practitioners, none have looked at the relationship elements and/or the quality of relationship between these two key stakeholders within the context of the Nigeria oil and gas industry. This research study makes a new contribution to the field of relationship marketing in the area of relationship quality by providing a detailed understanding of relationship elements, and determinants and dimensions of relationship quality. The research study focuses on the oil producing company to host community relationship in the Niger delta region of Nigeria, which was investigated in detail. A qualitative approach was adopted as it is considered appropriate for the research focus, which was to investigate and assess the understanding of different community actors in respect to the quality of relationship between the oil producing companies and host communities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria. In addition, explore how these actors described both the relationship elements and relationship quality constructs, and related this to their understanding of the relationship between the oil producing company and host community. Semi-structured interviews, as the primary method of data collection were conducted with different community actors. The literature review, as the secondary method of data collection were primarily used as a tool to double check and validate the interview findings. Sixteen community actors provided their views and opinions of the relationship between the oil producing companies with the host communities in the region. This research study extended the application of relationship quality frameworks that were conducted in a developed economic environment such as the United Kingdom and United States of America to a developing economic environment such as Nigeria through the replication of these frameworks and re-testing their constructs and propositions in order to develop a detailed and comprehensive framework of relationship quality in the context of a business-to-community (B2Com) relationship in a unique commercial context. In addition, this research study uncovered the importance of mutual goal and culture of the community people in addition to pre-identified constructs (i.e. mutual benefit, communication, control mutuality) as the key determinants of relationship quality for the oil producing company when engaging the host community in the relationship building process. This research study also explored the research on dimensions of relationship quality subjecting its main constructs (i.e. trust, satisfaction and commitment) to a rigorous qualitative test. Doing this, the finding further emphasised some consensus between these dimensions of relationship quality. In addition, the developed framework highlighted the importance of including the relationship elements (i.e. actor bonds, resource ties and activity links) when assessing the quality of the relationship between business and its community. In conclusion, this research document recommendations (such as, the local community forming a complete and harmonious whole when relating with external bodies, the need for international oil and gas companies in Nigeria to gain adequate and appropriate insight and understanding into the role(s) played by each of the actors within the Niger Delta community, and the importance of oil and gas practitioners developing and maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship in the region) for various stakeholders within the NOGI.
OSOBAJO, O.A. 2017. Enhancing B2Com relationship quality: a research study investigating the oil producing company to host community relationship in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Robert Gordon University, PhD thesis.