تجزیه و تحلیل روابط بین المللی بنگاه به بنگاه مبتنی بر نظریه تعهد اطمینان
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|23465||2002||7 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 31, Issue 5, August 2002, Pages 403–409
Business-to-business relationships are characterized by an exchange between two or more parties. Research has identified several factors that enhance marketing and management in business relationships, mainly with a focus on large manufacturing firms. However, less is known about how service firms develop and maintain international relations during the establishment of a business. To analyze the relevance of the key mediating variable (KMV) model [J. Mark. 58 (1994) 20–38.], which maintains that business-to-business relationship requires commitment and trust, interviews were conducted with five different service entrepreneurs in Sweden, Australia and the UK. The findings demonstrate the importance of commitment, trust, relation termination costs and benefits, shared values and communication between the exchange partners.
Many entrepreneurs establish their own firms when they recognize a specific market demand. However, some of these entrepreneurs are unable to fulfil the market demand with their own resources and means. In order to succeed, they therefore attempt to overcome their insufficiency by establishing relationships with a partner. Such business-to-business relationships are referred to as relational marketing (e.g., Ref. ) and described as a network paradigm  and . Morgan and Hunt  assert that relationship marketing refers to activities directed toward establishing, developing and maintaining successful relations. More recently, there has been a growing interest in what factors contribute to such long-term prosperous exchanges between business associates. In social exchange theory (e.g.,  and ), which has successfully been applied to studies of marital satisfaction and family life quality, it is proposed that relationships providing more rewards than costs will yield enduring mutual trust and attraction. The theory further asserts that the actions of individuals are motivated by the reward (not necessarily monetary) that these actions are expected to bring from others . For example, in a business-to-business relation, one part provides another with resources and support, while, in exchange, the other part contributes monetary rewards. Thus, whether or not commitment and trust emerge between the exchanging partners is a function of the perceived costs or the rewards one expects at a later date from the relationship exchange. Studies of happily married couples and other successful intimate relationships (e.g.,  and ) show that interpersonal factors entailing psychological rewards, such as respect and trust, dominates over exchanges of money and goods. It therefore seems important to investigate whether the psychological factors suggested in social exchange theory has any impact on business-to-business relations relative to exchanges of money and other tangible things. Furthermore, it is important to specify which these psychological factors are. The issue is more complicated in international business relationships. Language barriers and cultural differences may, for instance, prevent or complicate long-term relationships. During the past years, several internationally oriented service firms in finance, utilities, legal and consulting have grown rapidly by acquisitions, mergers and franchising. Yet, little is known about how service firms develop international relations during the establishment of a business. Previous research of the internationalization process has tended to focus on how manufacturing firms expand internationally (e.g., Ref. ). An important aim of the present study is to attempt to extend previous findings from manufacturing industry to service enterprises. In this study, the Commitment–Trust theory  will be used to analyze the development of international business-to-business relations in the service sector. In essence, the theory postulates a number of psychological factors which are important. In this paper, the theory will be operationalized as the Key Mediating Variable (KMV) model. This model is relevant since it is founded on empirical findings from many different areas including social-exchange theory (e.g., Ref. ), organizational theory (e.g., Ref. ) and transaction theory (e.g., Ref. ). Although the KMV model has been successfully applied on a national sample of automobile tire retailers , it needs to be tested further. Another aim therefore was to examine whether the KMV model can be used to analyze international business-to-business relationships. The KMV model appears to fail to emphasize or ignore some factors that may be important. One is fairness in exchanges . If business-to-business partners share benefits and burdens proportional to their investments, trust should increase. Another factor is perceptions of relationship effectiveness, which refer to whether the exchanging parts perceive the relationship as productive, worthwhile and satisfying (i.e.,  and ). The relationship may not be perceived as effective if benefits are not gained, thus, decrease trust and/or commitment. Still another factor that is assumed but made explicit in the KMV model is prior beliefs about the likelihood that the exchanging partner will reciprocate acts of trust and commitment (e.g., Ref. ). For instance, interactions reinforcing individuals' expectations about others' trustworthiness may increase trust, whereas interactions disconfirming those expectations may undermine trust. Thus, the KMV model may not be entirely suitable to account for the performance when service firms establish international business-to-business relationships. A third aim of the present study is, consequently, to see if fairness, perceptions of relationship effectiveness and/or prior beliefs about trust and commitment play any role when establishing international business-to-business relationships.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The aim of this case study was to analyze international business-to-business relationships in the service sector. In drawing on the Commitment–Trust theory, operationalized as the KMV model, evidence was found for all the factors (commitment, trust, relation termination cost and benefits, shared values, communication and lack of opportunistic behavior) assumed in this theory to be at work when business-to-business relationships develop. In addition, there was no strong support for the importance of other factors not identified by the theory, such as fairness, perceived relationship effectiveness or prior beliefs regarding the likelihood that the exchanging partner will reciprocate acts of trust and commitment , ,  and . It is thus suggested that the theory may be quite general since it has been successfully used in previous analyses of other types of business-to-business relationships (e.g., Ref. ). However, it cannot be inferred with certainty that these factors are necessary since counterfactual cases need to be examined in order to make such an inference. That is, it is still not known with certainty whether the entrepreneurs had established the relationships if, for instance, they had had less commitment and trust in their exchanging partners. In addition, it is difficult to infer with certainty that the determinants are of trust and commitment. Therefore, the results must remain tentative being in need of additional studies to establish causation, for instance, through structural-equation modeling (e.g., Ref. ). In business research (e.g., Ref. ), the influence of opportunistic behavior is indicated by the fact that self-maximization decreases commitment and trust. None of the entrepreneurs in this study expressed that their business associate acted as to maximize their own profit. This may be a possible explanation why they felt committed to and thought they could trust their business associates. An expectation in the start-up phase expressed by several respondents was that they would share costs and benefits, for instance, due to technological advancements. This would result in better delivery of services and possible development of services for their customers. There is little doubt from the results that communication increases both commitment and trust. For instance, in several of the cases, the entrepreneurs documented an open and free information flow already initially in the relationship. This seemed to increase their sense of trust. In one case, one of the entrepreneurs felt dissatisfied with the communication with the exchange partner, which obviously affected the entrepreneur's feelings of commitment. Accepting the insufficient communication was then an important factor in preventing the relationship from further damage. All the entrepreneurs emphasized the communication at all levels in the organizations and a two-way flow seems to be a prerequisite for enhanced commitment and trust. All the entrepreneurs emphasized that trust is a critical antecedent to commitment. In a majority of the business relationships examined in this study, trust was developed in prior social interactions. Thus, personal friendships were established before making any business commitment whatsoever. The results in this way indicate that trustworthiness is an initial significant factor when deciding with whom to do business. Personal liking and honesty created the foundation for trust and was considered important before engaging in more involved forms of commitment. A significant factor is commitment. All the entrepreneurs repeatedly emphasized a desire to maintain their relationship with the exchanging partner. In some cases, entrepreneurs expressed a feeling of commitment not until they got involved in their mutual business. For example, in one case, an entrepreneur established commitment by attending the exchange partner's meetings and communicated at all levels in his organization. This example demonstrates strategic behavior that some of the respondents engaged in. It is also important to note that negotiating and signing contracts with the exchanging partner enhanced commitment. Although formal contracts are an important phase in relationship commitment, involvement and psychological contracts were clearly also significant. For instance, credibility is important since it shapes the approach toward negotiating and contracting. From the interviews, it thus appears as if both contracts and psychological properties of a relationship are important but play different roles. It is apparent that social and economic rules mix in business-to-business relationships. In fact, interpersonal factors such as involvement and credibility may dominate over exchanges of money and goods. An additional finding regarding trust and commitment was that they are prerequisites for long-term business-to-business relationships. None of the entrepreneurs explicitly discussed alternative exchange partners. This may be due to the fact that they were committed to each other by different investments and/or that they were to some degree satisfied with their present partner. However, one entrepreneur stated that individual costs increased dependence to the exchanging partner. This implies that one may continue the relationship rather than loosing one's face. All the entrepreneurs felt that they received benefits and that they shared the same values, which convinced them of the benefit to maintain the relationship. Finally, it may again be stressed that the Commitment–Trust theory, operationalized as the KMV model, was supported in the present study. The advantage of identifying psychological factors in business-to-business relations has direct managerial implications. For instance, the results presented in this study and previous studies suggest that entrepreneurs should engage in business relations with an exchanging partner that can be trusted; they should support and facilitate communication; and, finally, they should attempt to sustain and develop shared values instead of behaving in an opportunistic manner. Specific actions for entrepreneurs to take are increasing the access of communication channels across the organizational structure (e.g., e-mail), be open-minded for cultural differences and develop personal, as well as business relationships.