PurposeReciprocity has traditionally been overlooked in social exchange models of inter-firm relationships. Therefore, this research integrates reciprocity and its antecedents into a social exchange model of inter-firm relationships.Design/methodology/approachThe authors collected primary data from a sample of firms in the Republic of Korea using a questionnaire. They also used covariance-based structural equations modeling to fit the model given the proposed conceptualization.FindingsBoth conceptually and empirically, adding reciprocity and its antecedents to the social exchange model produce results that differ from previously published papers. Specifically, reciprocity affects information exchanged indirectly through both credibility and benevolence trust. In addition, the effect of information exchange mediates the effect of trust on calculative and affective commitment.Research limitations/implicationsThe foundation of long-term inter-firm relationships is quality information exchange, which is based on the development of credibility and benevolence trust, which in turn is based on reciprocity. Thus, reciprocity is a key variable in relationship development.Originality/valueTo the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is among the first to combine reciprocity and its antecedents into a social exchange model that contains trust and commitment. This model provides a bigger picture of how firms develop long-term relationships with their partner firms.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 7, 2019
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