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Assessing relationship quality and its key constructs from a rival models approach

Assessing relationship quality and its key constructs from a rival models approach Purpose – Relationship quality (RQ) is nowadays seen as a main source of competitive advantage. This study aims at enhancing our understanding of RQ by testing and comparing three alternative business‐to‐business (B2B) RQ models from an interpersonal perspective. Design/methodology/approach – A mail survey was employed and 1,126 firm representatives provided their perceptions of their relationships with their counterparts in hotels, yielding a 48.4 per cent response rate. Data was analysed through structural equations modelling with LISREL. Findings – Findings clarified the way RQ key constructs connect, as well as the relative importance of their dimensions. Trust was the dominant dimension of RQ, which contributed to strengthen the pivotal role of trust as a RQ key construct. Problem‐ solving behaviour and selling orientation were the most important dimensions of customer orientation. Research limitations/implications – Due to possible limitations inherent to the chosen research approach, longitudinal studies in different research settings that may improve the generalisability of the results are suggested for future investigations. Practical implications – Results emphasised customer orientation as an additional, crucial building block of RQ, drawing the attention to the pivotal role of (designated) relationship managers, the “part‐time” marketers who act as the “face” of the organization, in maximising B2B RQ. Originality/value – New and relevant insights are provided regarding the relative importance of the dimensions of each RQ key construct, which will help relationship managers to evolve from a selling to a counselling approach, thereby promoting commitment, trust, and mutuality of goals, towards the improvement of the quality of the relationships between business partners. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management Emerald Publishing

Assessing relationship quality and its key constructs from a rival models approach

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1536-5433
DOI
10.1108/MRJIAM-01-2013-0497
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Relationship quality (RQ) is nowadays seen as a main source of competitive advantage. This study aims at enhancing our understanding of RQ by testing and comparing three alternative business‐to‐business (B2B) RQ models from an interpersonal perspective. Design/methodology/approach – A mail survey was employed and 1,126 firm representatives provided their perceptions of their relationships with their counterparts in hotels, yielding a 48.4 per cent response rate. Data was analysed through structural equations modelling with LISREL. Findings – Findings clarified the way RQ key constructs connect, as well as the relative importance of their dimensions. Trust was the dominant dimension of RQ, which contributed to strengthen the pivotal role of trust as a RQ key construct. Problem‐ solving behaviour and selling orientation were the most important dimensions of customer orientation. Research limitations/implications – Due to possible limitations inherent to the chosen research approach, longitudinal studies in different research settings that may improve the generalisability of the results are suggested for future investigations. Practical implications – Results emphasised customer orientation as an additional, crucial building block of RQ, drawing the attention to the pivotal role of (designated) relationship managers, the “part‐time” marketers who act as the “face” of the organization, in maximising B2B RQ. Originality/value – New and relevant insights are provided regarding the relative importance of the dimensions of each RQ key construct, which will help relationship managers to evolve from a selling to a counselling approach, thereby promoting commitment, trust, and mutuality of goals, towards the improvement of the quality of the relationships between business partners.

Journal

Management Research: The Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2013

Keywords: Business‐to‐business markets; Corporate clients; Relationship managers; Relationship marketing; Relationship quality; Structural equations modelling; Business‐to‐business marketing

References