Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

The Influence of Fairness on Channel Member Relationship Satisfaction: A Case of Malaysian Car Dealers

Academic journal article International Journal of Business and Management Science

The Influence of Fairness on Channel Member Relationship Satisfaction: A Case of Malaysian Car Dealers

Article excerpt


The topic of relationship marketing has increasingly attracted interest in academic marketing research as well as in practice. In recent years, a growing number of companies particularly in business-to-business have invested considerable resources into various programs for enhancing business relationships. In relation to that, dealers or marketing channels are increasingly emphasizing relationships they have with their suppliers and are demanding that they adhere to high standards. The pressure to compete also makes it necessary for the development and maintenance of relationships between buyers and suppliers. In this regard, today, small and large companies are forging partnerships with suppliers as a foundation of their supply strategies (Theng-Lau and Goh, 2005) due to the fact that developing successful business-to-business relationships can be beneficial to both buyers and sellers (Sheth and Sharma, 1997). Even though sustainable business relationships can be created by factors such as good customer service, good merchandise and efficient distribution systems, most firms overlook the sustainable competitive advantage that can be created through long-term relationships with their suppliers (Ganesan, 1994). In other words, the cutting edge for businesses today is long-term relationships with suppliers.

Relationship Satisfaction

Recently, interest of researchers and marketers has become more focused on relationship building and development, and many marketing scholars have recognised the need for a comprehensive examination of the relationship aspects of buyer-supplier exchange and the components that influence relationship development and satisfaction (Anderson and Narus, 1990; Dwyer, Schurr, and Oh, 1987; Iacobucci and Hibbard, 1999). With the increasing interest in buyer-supplier relationships, relationship satisfaction has become an important component in relationship marketing and channel theory (Abdul-Muhmin, 2005; Ramaseshan, Yip, and Pae, 2006; Rodriguez, Agudo, and Gutierrez, 2006). In business relationships, relationship satisfaction is viewed as an essential ingredient in the development and maintenance of long-term buyer-supplier relationships. Relationship satisfaction is becoming critical in business relationships and it has been found that successful business relationship has resulted in lower transaction costs and has fostered greater economic value for both marketers and their customers (Geyskens and Steenkamp, 2000; Ping, 2003).

One of the most important key constructs in this evolving paradigm of long-term relationship in buyer-supplier context is relationship satisfaction (Ping, 2003; Rodriguez et al., 2006). For both practitioners and researchers, the relationship satisfaction is a desirable business philosophy because it leads to long-term relationship outcomes, trust, commitment and continuity of relationship. Rodriguez et al. (2006) argued that relationship satisfaction, trust and commitment are issues of great interest at the moment. Thus, further examination on relationship satisfaction is needed because the competitiveness in business-to-business marketing depends on actively maintaining relationships that are nurtured by each of the parties involved.

Despite the assumption that relationship satisfaction contributes to buyer-supplier relationship, previous researchers concentrated more on factors affecting an overall satisfaction of relationship with less research being focused on investigating specific channel relationship satisfaction as economic and social aspects (Geyskens and Steenkamp, 2000). It requires a channel member to consider seriously and comprehensively the economic and emotional aspects that have to be invested in the relationship for further development (Dwyer et al., 1987). The underlying gaps have led many researchers to suggest further empirical research in this area (Abdul-Muhmin, 2005; Geyskens and Steenkamp, 2000; Ramaseshan et al. …

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