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Exchange Relationships

The defining characteristic of an exchange relationship is that benefits are given with the expectation of receiving a comparable benefit in return or in repayment for a comparable benefit received in the past. When exchange rules are followed appropriately, each relationship member considers the exchange to be fair. Relationships between customers and storeowners often exemplify exchange relationships. For instance, a customer may pay a storeowner three dollars for a package of paper towels. Typically, relationships between employees and employers are also exchange relationships.

Exchange relationships are ubiquitous, which means they are found everywhere. Whereas many involve monetary transactions, as in the examples just given, many others do not. For instance, one set of parents with a child who plays soccer may form a car pool with ...

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