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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), Volume 17, Issue 1, May 2009, Pages 46–57
This exploratory study develops relationship marketing theory by analysing the effect of organizational culture difference on business-to-business relationships. The dyadic data demonstrate three influential dimensions of organizational culture difference in the context of university–industry relationships: Differences in both time orientation and corporate flexibility impact commitment negatively, whereas market orientation difference negatively affects intention to renew. This study also confirms a positive effect of trust, commitment and integration on university–industry relationship success based on a dyadic data set. While trust appears highly influential in relationships with an uncertain future, commitment appears to be of stronger consequence in certain relationships.
The relationship marketing (RM) literature continues to develop with a large number of studies examining business relationships from a marketing perspective (Rauyruen and Miller, 2007; Coviello et al., 2002, Abratt and Kelly, 2002 and Cannon and Homburg, 2001). In particular, a fundamental research stream has developed around the relationship constructs of interaction, trust, commitment and satisfaction (Van Bruggen et al., 2005 and Seppänen et al., 2007). However, in their analysis of relationship influence factors, researchers have so far largely ignored differences between partners’ organizational cultures and environments, although studies confirm the negative effect of such difference in the context of mergers and acquisitions (M&As hereafter) (Chatterje et al., 1992). M&As imply an extremely high contact, which is likely to reveal the full potential of cultural differences (Weber, 1996) and lead to a higher risk than in a relationship situation (Davis, 1968). However, given the close contact between organisations and groups even in business relationships, findings drawn from the M&A literature should be tested in the RM area to further our understanding of factors underlying relationship success and failure. Given inherent differences of organisational cultures amongst organisations (Reynolds, 1986), this research may enhance our appreciation of the influence of such differences on relationships and provide theoretical and managerial guidelines on how to respond to the differences to ensure relationship development. The primary aim of this research is thus to gain insight into the impact of organisational culture difference (OCD hereafter) on business relationships. A few authors have studied OCD in a strategic alliances context (e.g. Smith and Barclay, 1997), providing some confirmation of a negative impact of difference in a relationship setting. However, a number of questions remain. This study answers calls for further research into the effect of OCD on relationships (Hewett et al., 2002 and Sarkar et al., 2001), aiming to answer the research question “Does organisational culture difference impact relationships?” To further contribute to the literature, this study seeks to overcome some limitations of earlier studies. First, rather than studying similarity as a broad concept (Sarkar et al., 2001) or in relation to cultural types (Leisen et al., 2002), this study examines individual dimensions of culture, hence allowing an in-depth insight into the area under study. Second, the majority of studies use data based on one relationship actor (Desphandé et al., 1993 and Hewett et al., 2002). Such approach might not only limit their findings (Medlin et al., 2001) but also limit the opportunity to study difference, as only the view of one side is taken. In comparison, this study adopts a dyadic approach, allowing for a more accurate reflection of reality. The structure of this paper is as follows. The first section introduces the parent theory for this paper, namely RM. A principal focus of this brief literature review lies on relationship characteristics and outcomes. A discussion of the concepts of organizational culture and OCD follows. The third section argues for university–industry relationships (UIR hereafter) as a relevant research context, leading to the development of hypotheses. While all organizations differ in terms of their organizational culture (Reynolds, 1986), the cultural gap between organizations operating in the same sector and thus under environmental influences and pressures may be less distinct. Hence, this exploratory study of OCD in a RM context utilizes relationships between fundamentally different organizations, namely between universities and private sector organizations. The presentation and discussion of the results of a three-step analysis follows. After providing managerial implications, this paper concludes with limitations and research directions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this research is to better understand relationships between organizations operating with fundamentally different organizational cultures and to examine the impact of OCD on relationships. Commitment and intention to renew emerge as the concepts vulnerable to OCD; primarily time orientation, flexibility and MO difference. This research contributes to the existing theory by testing the influence of individual dimensions of OCD on relationships. While some isolated studies in the alliances literature examined similarity as a broad concept (Sarkar et al., 2001) or in relation to cultural types (Leisen et al., 2002), the use of individual cultural dimensions of culture is new and provides an in-depth insight into the area under study. Furthermore, rather than seeking information on the perception of difference (Smith and Barclay, 1997), respondents comment on the culture of their own group. The researcher creates a dyadic score for matched pairs, reflecting a more accurate picture of difference. By taking into account the perceptions of both parties via dyadic data, this study also confirms the relevance of relationship drivers reported in the previous one-sided research (Sarkar et al., 2001). Moreover, the exploratory invariance testing considerably advances the understanding of relationship dynamics. While trust emerges as the strongest driver of uncertain relationships, the importance of commitment is more apparent in relationships characterized by shared renewal intentions. Also, flexibility difference has a stronger negative impact on doubtful relationships. While this research contributes to RM theory and practice, an interpretation of results should occur with caution in view of its limitations. Predominantly, the dyadic approach led to two limitations. First, the overall analysis is based on a very small sample size of 62 dyads, leading to even smaller numbers in invariance testing. This limitation stems from the requirement of the corresponding responses and the lack of respondent anonymity in the data collection process and is consistent with the previous dyadic research (John and Reve, 1982, Langerak, 2001 and Barnes et al., 2007). Second, respondents are likely to nominate a partner with which they have a positive relationship. This choice might introduce systematic bias in relation to the dependent variable satisfaction (Hewett et al., 2002) and might limit the representativeness of UIRs in Australia. Nevertheless, the broad characteristics of the final sample and satisfaction ratings ranging from 2.78 to 7 suggest a suitable cross-section of UIRs. The measurements of time and MO introduce further limitations. The lack of reliability for the three-item measure of time orientation results in the use of a single item measure in the final analysis. While difference in the perceived importance of punctuality is highly relevant in a UIR context, a single item is limited in capturing the overall construct. Moreover, the final congeneric model of MO only incorporates two items. Difficulties with the measurement may relate to the unfamiliarity of university respondents with the concept. While the remaining two items appropriately reflect the MO concept, they do not encapsulate all components of MO discussed in the literature. Future research should address these measurement complications to allow a better understanding of the effect of difference on relationships. Few researchers have examined relationships crossing fundamentally different organizational cultures, suggesting an opportunity for future research. While this research utilizes UIRs as a relevant research context, future research should examine other relationships spanning dissimilar organizational cultures to develop a comprehensive list of OCD dimensions and their influence on relationships. Furthermore, while this research only shows a weak effect of OCD on relationships, the invariance testing results suggest that the level of uncertainty prevalent in the relationship might be a moderating factor for the effect of OCD. Finally, re-specification may rely on the characteristics of the specific sample, especially considering the small sample size used in this study. The final path model is thus limited to the given sample and future research must validate the model with independent and preferably larger samples