Gifts and Gifting

Gary Davies, Susan Whelan, Anthony Foley, Margaret Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


The terms gift and gifting are rarely formally defined, but are associated with something given without receiving payment, often in the expectation of reciprocation and of changing the relationship with the recipient. Extensive prior work across a number of disciplines tends to focus on gifting as a process and shows a broad conceptualization of the gift construct to include actions as diverse as charitable giving, tipping, self-gifting and volunteering, where relationship development and reciprocation are largely irrelevant. As a way to develop the area, two proposals are made: first, that gifting research should recognize two different types of gift, transactional and relational; and second, that the exchange paradigm and its underpinning social exchange theory should become central in developing understanding of relational gifting. The authors argue that empirical researchers may usefully revisit the relational paradigm, but by adopting a more quantitative, modelling approach, and the paper illustrates how this might be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-434
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Management Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


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