اثر بازارگرایی بر رضایت رابطه خریدار و فروشنده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|19056||2003||19 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 32, Issue 4, May 2003, Pages 327–345
In recent years, much of the Marketing scientific community's interest has been dedicated to the study of the market orientation concept. Numerous works, which are centered on the analysis of this orientation's dimensions, outcomes, antecedents and moderating factors, may be found. Though the empirical evidence attained up to now is not conclusive in any of these areas, the study of the nonfinancial results derived from this focus has been specially scarce. Thus, this paper attempts to verify a model in which a firm's cultural market orientation serves as an antecedent for its degree of satisfaction with its main supplier. To this end, empirical data provided by a sample of 174 Spanish industrial firms were analyzed. The main conclusions of this research lead us to confirm the indirect influence that the buyer firm's cultural market orientation exerts on the level of satisfaction with its main supplier. On the other hand, the evidence attained also leads us to propose several suggestions relative to the supplier's business management in order to improve relationships with its customers.
Upon reviewing the most important areas of research in marketing in the last decade, market orientation clearly appears in the forefront . Accordingly, many studies that analyze in depth the meaning and scope of this concept, the design of scales aimed at its correct measurement and the possible moderating factors that may condition the market orientation outcomes ,  and  are available. Practitioners have devoted special attention towards the analysis of the market orientation concept benefits for the organizations. In general terms, the empirical evidence suggests the existence of a positive relationship between the market orientation and an improvement in results. This conclusion has been obtained both in transversal , , ,  and  and longitudinal studies . This holds true even while recognizing that the intensity of this relationship may depend on a series of moderating variables . Nevertheless, researchers have not yet reached an agreement on which variables should be applied to quantify the obtained results. In this sense, measures of different nature have been employed such as financial results—investment profitability, sales profitability, financial profitability; operative results—sale volume, sale increase rate, market share, customer retention rate, product quality; or results pertaining to the organization's efficiency—indices summarizing different variables linked to profits and short- and long-term degree of objective fulfilment. In any case, the empirical studies reveal the existence of a real difficulty when it comes to gathering quantitative data on any of these standards. This has led researchers to adopt subjective indicators. However, market orientation is also capable of producing effects on another series of factors of a more qualitative nature. First, it exercises an influence on employees, fostering the development of a sense of pride among them in belonging to the company, the satisfaction due to a job well done collectively, or the increase in their dedication to the company. Secondly, market orientation has consequences regarding innovation as it positively influences an organization to foster it, increases the percentage of income for new products, develops innovative capacity and improves the degree of success achieved by the innovations  and . Third, it influences customers, improving their satisfaction, loyalty and their word of mouth relative to the firm's products, quality and level of service. Research in all these domains, and in other related ones—for instance, the effect of a firm's degree of market orientation on its satisfaction with its suppliers—is still in an initial stage, given that the studies undertaken to date have been scarce. From the entrepreneurial management and planning viewpoint, it is essential to identify the factors that contribute to an improvement in results and the attainment of competitive advantages sustainable in the long term. In this sense, the industrial buyers' loyalty means a source of competitive advantage for the suppliers  and . The buyer's loyalty depends, on its turn, to a great extent on the degree of satisfaction with the relationship. Precisely for this reason, we proposed a causal model aimed at checking the influence of an organization's degree of market orientation on its level of satisfaction with its main supplier. The study's results will benefit the practical management of relationships between supplier companies and customers, as some of the key conditioning factors in a satisfactory relationship will be evidenced. As an essential first step, we have developed a scale that reflects this orientation's degree of presence in its cultural dimension. The paper is structured as follows: Firstly, a conceptual framework of the industrial buying behavior study is offered. Based on this framework, we will be able to approach the analysis of buyer–seller relationships and, specifically, satisfaction analysis. Secondly, a completed overview of satisfaction and market orientation literature is presented. As the result of this review, a theoretical causal model of satisfaction is developed. Thirdly, a two-phase research methodology adopted in this study is detailed. Fourthly, results of each of the stages are specified. This evidence allows us to stand out some contributions for academic discussion. Finally, a set of conclusions and practical implications useful for practicing marketing managers is commented. Limitations and guidelines for future research are also included.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
From the viewpoint of strategic management, the investigation enables us to underline the need that those supplier firms which desire to maintain a long-term relationship with a customer, have for taking care of aspects such as power, communication, trust, conflict or perceived value. In addition, market orientation may favor and facilitate the satisfaction felt by a customer with a chosen supplier due to the fact that this brings about an improvement in the flow of communication and a more exhaustive selection of suppliers. Important implications for practicing marketing managers can be extracted from this study. In particular, it is appropriate to point out the implications relating to communication, management of conflicts, generation of perceived value and trust.It has been observed that all aspects relative to the supplier firm's communication strategy constitute a decisive piece in the structure of a long-term relationship. In order to increasing customer satisfaction, it is essential to provide incentives and foster information exchanges so that the roles to be played by each participant are clearly specified, as well as the expectations that each one of the members has regarding the other participant and all the aspects that may potentially create occasions for conflict. The anticipation of all of these questions offers an opportunity to possess a more effective and efficient relationship management, lessening conflictive situations, increasing trust between suppliers and customers, improving the satisfaction attained and, in the end, managing to offer the customer a more adequate service. Actually, the initiative for all of these efforts should lie with both suppliers and customer firms. Evidently, the leader of the relationship must fulfil an absolutely essential role in putting this strategy into effect and minimizing the level of conflict that may occur. This is due to their capacity to exercise various sources of power in order to obtain the consent of the partner. Moreover, the partner would have little chance of success if the leader were opposed to a system of these characteristics. Nonetheless, it must be pointed out that this does not mean that the other participant should not adopt a proactive posture in the maintenance of these relationships. Furthermore, the contacts must involve all levels of the implicated organizations. It is necessary that direct communication lines exist between the supplier's and customer's directors, given that the common objectives and the roles corresponding to each company must be clearly laid out. However, it is also absolutely essential to foster the relationship that the supplier's sales personnel maintain with the customer's purchasing agents. The individuals who hold these positions perform border functions between the two organizations in such a way that they are the ones who are perhaps in the best position to know the problems, expectations, perceptions and demands of the partner. The sales force not only serves to transmit information from the firm to the customer, convincing them of the superiority of their offer, but are also in the optimum position to compile information on the customers, competitors and environment. An improvement in communication can be achieved formally, which include initiatives such as the creation of multifunctional teams with individuals from both firms, the design of training programs or the use of structured forms, which must be completed by the sellers, purchasing agents and/or the directors of the firms. However, such improvement can also be accomplished informally, keeping conversations with the other company's personnel. In any case, it is critical to be able to rely on an efficient information management system and database. Evidently, for improvements in interorganizational communication to have positive effects, it is necessary that intraorganizational communication exists within each respective firm. All this directly meshes with the need to rely on a market orientation culture in both the supplier and customer companies. It should be remembered that two of the implications of this type of culture are, precisely, fostering interfunctional coordination and environmental orientation. The most market-oriented companies are continuously investigating ways of creating value and satisfaction for the different groups—internal or external, with which they operate—among them, the suppliers. The maintenance of open communication lines favors without doubt the creation of this added value. While the traditional viewpoint has been to propose that a supplier's market orientation increases the satisfaction and loyalty of the customer company, in the present study, it has been shown that the cultural market orientation of the purchasing firms has positive repercussions, through communication, on their satisfaction with the suppliers.Another key to a satisfactory relationship is the appropriate management of the conflicts that will necessarily appear throughout it. Conflict appears when one or more of the participants in a relationship consider that the partner is pursuing its own objectives to the detriment of the other participants. Conflict need not be linked exclusively to negative effects. In line with this, some authors speak of a functional conflict. This situation occurs when disagreements or potential problems are used as a means of enabling relationships to improve and soothe tensions. However, beyond this level of conflict, the antagonism and contrary postures between suppliers and customers lead to a reduction in satisfaction with the relationship, a reduced efficiency in the capacity to serve the final customers and a more short-term orientation. Various factors exist which may affect or contribute to the appearance of conflicts. In theory, it may be assumed that all variables with a capacity to condition an industrial organization's behavior are also capable of determining the perception of potential conflicts. Among the factors that facilitate the appearance of conflicts, we point out mainly structural and behavioral factors. Among the former, we can highlight the power/dependency relationship between companies. In keeping with this, a firm that is viewed to be dependent on another will tend to perceive a higher probability of conflict. Generally, the potential for conflict increases in proportion to the interdependence between two companies, given that each one will be affected by the other's activity . Although the conflict may reach high levels of intensity, the relationship will not break. However, interdependence also favors the search for cooperation mechanisms to solve or prevent conflicts. If a firm, on the other hand, is independent and finds the cost of change to be low, it may terminate a relationship rapidly when faced with the appearance of conflict—even at a manifest conflict level. With respect to behaviors that may affect the conflict level, it is worth mentioning the exercise of the sources of power. The exercise of the coercive sources of power usually increases the conflict level, while the exercise of the noncoercive sources—such as information power or reference power—would reduce it. In general, any type of behavior, on either of the parts concerned, which may influence the results of the other will be evaluated by the latter in relation to previous expectations already provided. As it occurs in the case of satisfaction and quality, the firm will obtain particular conflict feelings—affective or manifest. Besides the aforementioned situations, it may be stated that the ultimate causes of a potential conflict are found to a large extent in the different perceptions that each member has, in the lack of congruency between the respective objectives and in the ambiguity with respect to the roles of both firms. For this reason, the authors who have analyzed these aspects concede so much importance to the precise definition of the roles of the relationship's participants, a clear description of the key aspects of the strategy, the permanent exchange of information and the training programs  and . When it comes to managing the conflict that appears in an industrial relationship adequately, it is essential for the directors of each company to adopt a planned, strategic orientation—even written—of their relationships with the different groups with which they operate. That is to say, before beginning to work with a given customer company: • It is necessary to have a profound knowledge of the customer purchasing behavior and, in general, of all the factors and tendencies of the environment. • The needs, organizational culture, resources and strong and weak points of the partner must be known. A profound selection process is needed. • The objectives to be met must be clearly defined by mutual agreement—economic results, market coverage, image and others. • If the supplier works with distributors or agents to serve a customer, the functions, segments and/or products corresponding to each member of the distribution channel must be assigned conscientiously. • The supplier must develop adequate training programs for the intermediaries, if the supplier works with them. • Frequent, widespread communication must exist at all levels on any matter of interest. These include customer needs and problems, potential conflicts, changes in the environment, etc. We see once again how communication within the relationship plays an essential role in its proper functioning. In a similar manner, the exercise of leadership on the part of one of the members in the relationship may reduce the conflict, as a leader is capable of imposing norms, guidelines for behavior and functions and tasks oriented towards a common objective.Nowadays, the generation of value has been converted into a necessary requisite for obtaining a sustainable competitive advantage . In fact, the emphasis on the perceived value goes beyond the concern for quality, as it also takes into account simultaneously all types of costs associated with the offer. In the current global, highly competitive environment, a firm can only manage to differentiate itself from its competitors by increasing the benefits of its offer perceived by the customer, or reducing the costs associated with it. Even the companies that traditionally manufacture ‘commodities’, nondifferentiated products, are finding themselves obligated to reconsider their offers due to this imperative. In these cases, the redesign of the packaging, the incorporation of services, the addition of new stages in the productive process or a customized product constitute possible alternatives. With a view to increasing the value perceived by the customer, in addition to the product's tangible attributes, the price or the distribution channel, the supplier firms should focus their efforts on the more intangible aspects of a relationship. As follows from the investigation presented here, effective communication influences perceived value in a positive, significant manner. A strong relationship between companies and the trust existing between them are aspects that represent an advantage that is difficult for potential competitors to imitate.In the same way that the value perceived by a customer company increases satisfaction, trust contributes to reinforcing satisfaction and the overall net value with time . Many of the empirical studies that analyze the willingness to maintain a relationship have been centered on the variables that contribute to increase the dependency of one of the parties on the other , , , , ,  and . Taking Williamson's Theory of Transaction Costs as the theoretical foundation, dependency and uncertainty are the main explanatory variables in many of these investigations. It is not uncommon to find studies in which investments in specific assets, the existence or lack of available alternatives, the strategic importance of the acquired product, the costs of change, the sales percentage and profits obtained because of the other participant and other similar variables are employed as explanatory variables for the desire to maintain a relationship over time. Nevertheless, dependency constitutes only one of the conditioning factors for loyalty. In fact, loyalty based on dependency could be a forced loyalty, which the dependent participant will always be prepared to break, unless some other type of conditioning factors exist. Trust represents this other type of variable that induces a firm with greater intensity to maintain a long-term relationship. The buyer's trust can be increased by demonstrating that the supplier firm or its salespersons are deserving of this trust: by fulfilling promises, through actions that could even work to the detriment of the seller firm, by pointing out a product's inconveniences, as well as its advantages, by giving specific information rather than generalizations, through proofs and testimonies, by providing free service, etc.  and . The maintenance of open lines of communication with the customer, a service guarantee and a higher standard of conduct also constitute key aspects. To put these activities into practice, the supplier must by able to rely on the following resources, skills and capacities, listed in order from the easiest to the most difficult to acquire: product quality, service excellence, cost control, speed of action, continuous innovation, the implantation of efficient organizational routines and the development of a culture based on market orientation . When considering the main conclusions and implications of the research work, it is necessary to bear in mind its limitations. Firstly, the data were compiled in two different moments of time. Owing to the variety and breadth of the information required from the companies, we deemed more advisable to obtain the pertinent data not by means of a single, long questionnaire but rather using two questionnaires delivered at two different times. Nonetheless, the time lag between the two stages of the investigation was relatively short—less than a year. Moreover, the questionnaire was answered by the same person in both cases. Secondly, satisfaction is not separated into its two components—economic and noneconomic. The same occurs with trust—honesty and benevolence. The reason for this may be found once again in the need to simplify the quantity of information that was required of the interviewees to the maximum. Finally, the research has focused in one specific type of relationship: an industrial buyer–supplier relationship. However, this type of relationship is only one within the network of relationships involving the buyer an the seller. Furthermore, company directors have been the individuals interviewed. In fact, all the persons involved in the buying center should be interviewed. Nevertheless, much of the information asked for can be only provided by a person with a general knowledge about the firm and its strategies. Among the future lines of research the most immediate include: (1) the consideration of new variables linked to relationship marketing such as loyalty, affective commitment, calculated commitment or dependency; (2) the verification of the relationship between market orientation and other result variables—the effects on employee motivation or on innovation; (3) the inclusion of possible moderating variables, such as, for instance, uncertainty; and (4) the consideration of other type of persons involved in the buying process besides the company director.