تشخیص اعتبار تامین کننده از اعتماد در روابط خریدار - تامین کننده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21210||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6767 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 39, Issue 5, July 2010, Pages 744–751
We argue that a firm's reputation (i.e., central, enduring, and distinctive corporate associations held by individuals outside of an organization), although under-researched relative to trust, is more important than trust in impacting buyer–supplier relationships. Our conceptualization draws on theories and extant research related to transaction cost economics, information economics, and interfirm trust. The constructs of trust and reputation are distinguished and their relative impacts on relationship commitment and willingness to invest in the future of the relationship are examined. Suggestive empirical evidence is provided from a survey of industrial buyers, and implications and specific directions for future research are discussed.
Suppliers and buyers in business-to-business (hereafter, B2B) transactions seek to build closer relationships to improve the effectiveness and efficiencies of their transactions. For example, joint information technologies that link the ordering, manufacturing, and inventory control systems of a supplier and a buyer can result in long term efficiencies by reducing waste and provide long term sales gains by avoiding stock outs. Alternatively, when a supplier customizes a product to the specific needs of a buyer or coordinates marketing efforts with a downstream channel partner, synergistic results can emerge. However, closer relationships between suppliers and buyers also create vulnerabilities. For example, relationships expose valuable assets to trading partners. Further, to the degree that a firm makes investments that are tied to a specific partner, the firm's dependence on that partner is increased. In turn, as a firm's financial resources or market positions are at increased risk, concerns over protection from partner opportunism rise to the forefront (Williamson, 1996). Relationship dependence also implies opportunity costs of forsaking other potential trading partners. Thus, firms should structure relationships in ways that protect assets and ensure access to key resources (Webster, 1992). Trust and reputation are each considered within the extant research literature to play important roles in business-to-business (B2B) buyer–supplier relationship decisions. Although the interconnectedness of the two constructs is not generally debated (reputation is normally seen as an antecedent to trust), a great deal of ambiguity exists between the two. The terms are often used imprecisely and interchangeably. Researchers repeatedly use reputation as a proxy for trust (e.g., Bennett & Gabriel, 2001) or consider the trust construct as a distinct conceptual stream within the study of reputation (Berens & van Riel, 2004). Although different perspectives exist across the literature, we argue that precise definitions and consistent usage are needed in order for the field to make systematic progress towards more fully understanding these constructs. Consistent with Rousseau, Sitkin, Burt, and Camerer (1998), we view trust as a relationship-based concept, which is created, reinforced, or decreased by bilateral, relational activities in a series of economic exchanges. On the other hand, we view an organization's reputation as consisting of beliefs about the organization (or “corporate associations,” Brown & Dacin, 1997, p. 69) that are held by others. Specifically, reputation refers to “the set of corporate associations that individuals outside an organization believe are [central, enduring, and distinctive] to the organization” (Brown, Dacin, Pratt, & Whetten, 2006, p. 104). Although trust has been the construct of primary interest in the extant stream of B2B relationship marketing literature (cf. Morgan & Hunt, 1994), we develop a conceptualization that suggests that partner reputation is more important than trust in impacting key relationship decisions and outcomes. Choosing to focus on partner reputation, versus a firm's own reputation, differs from the extant literature. Specifically, researchers typically study the firm's reputation as a strategic asset ( Fombrun & Shanley, 1990). For example, channels scholars often view a positive reputation as a valuable asset that can generate rents and increase customer loyalty ( Andreassen and Lindestad, 1998, Weigelt and Camerer, 1988 and Wilson, 1985). Brand management scholars demonstrate the positive outcomes that can be attributed to brand-level reputation ( Lane and Jacobson, 1995 and Simon and Sullivan, 1993). Erdem and Swait (1998) argue that a brand's reputation sends a quality signal to the market, reducing buyer uncertainty. In contrast, this study asks whether the reputation of a relationship partner impacts attitudes and intentions concerning the relationship which, in turn, impact a range of relationship governance decisions. Several under-explored questions are identified concerning the role that partner reputation plays in the structure and outcomes of business relationships. First, regarding governance issues, Chiles and McMackin (1996) utilize TCE to argue that trust between potential transaction partners reduces the degree of vertical integration required to govern the relationship ( Rindfleisch & Heide, 1997). However, reputation and trust are distinct constructs. Are the governance implications of reputation similar to those of trust? While reputation provides potentially positive governance benefits (cf. Rao & Ruekert, 1994), it also raises some concerns. For example, to the degree that a buyer's strategies rely on a high-reputation supplier, the buyer may become increasingly “locked-in” ( Heide & Weiss, 1995). Gundlach, Achrol, and Mentzer (1995, p. 79) argue that “[w]hen a distributor like Computerland agrees to carry a manufacturer's product line, for example, IBM, explicit and implicit cost-bearing decisions (e.g., training of sales personnel and development of promotional programs) are made that limit the capacity and freedom to deal with other manufacturers … and therefore yield commitment.” Thus, the benefits that accrue from a high-reputation partner may be partially offset by increased switching and opportunity costs. The first contribution of this paper, then, relates to addressing the impact of reputation versus trust on behavioral intentions and attitudes within a supplier–buyer relationship. Second, gaining access to a partner's assets (brand names, technology, etc.) is a common motivation for forging a relationship (Combs and Ketchen, 1999 and Spekman et al., 1998). While there is general evidence of benefits that accrue from partners' investments in transaction-specific assets (e.g., Dyer, 1996), there exists little theory or evidence as to the impact of intangible assets, such as partner reputation. This gap in the literature is made more relevant by the “ever increasing rate” at which alliances are being formed and their pervasiveness across industries (Spekman et al., 1998, p. 747). The overall purpose of the present article is to take an initial step in setting the research agenda for understanding the often-understated impact of reputation in supplier–buyer relationships. While several dimensions of reputation are in need of conceptual development, the present paper focuses on one critical aspect: supplier reputation. Supplier reputation has be characterized as the beliefs that people and firms within an industry hold about the supplier's characteristics and abilities as a trading partner ( Doney and Cannon, 1997 and Ganesan, 1994). Specifically, we develop a theoretical framework that draws from TCE theory, information economics/signaling, and resource dependence theory to specify how supplier reputation can impact relationship attitudes and behavioral intentions. Given the rich context that it provides, we review extant theory on B2B relationship governance, and then examine the respective roles of reputation and trust. Organizing the discussion around these themes, we also present initial empirical evidence from a cross section of buyer–supplier relationships regarding the respective roles of reputation and trust (operationalized as both benevolence and integrity) in order to examine the validity of the framework.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The goal of this paper is to explicate the roles of supplier reputation and trust in buyer–supplier relationships. Although trust has received far more attention in the B2B relationship literature, our results suggest that supplier reputation may be more impactful on important attitudes and intentions. Because firms invest time, effort, and financial resources towards the development and maintenance of positive relationships, it is important to practice and theory that marketing scholars further develop our understandings of the unique nature and relative impact of supplier reputation — not only trust.