The bonding effects of relationship value and switching costs in industrial buyer-seller relationships: an investigation into role differences

Ingmar Geiger*, Aurélia Durand, Samy Saab, Michael Kleinaltenkamp, Roger Baxter, Yeonhee Lee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite the established importance of buyer-seller relationships in B-to-B markets, research to determine the differential effects that keep suppliers and customers in a relationship has been scarce. Referring to transaction cost analysis, this study investigates how switching costs and relationship value as perceived by each side unfold their bonding forces in such a relationship. Based on a large scale survey administered in Germany, Korea, New Zealand, and Argentina among marketing/sales and purchasing managers the study shows that relationship value has a stronger impact on intentions for relationship enhancement, search for alternatives and switch intention than switching costs for both buyers and sellers. Only with regard to relational tolerance and only for buyers do switching costs play a greater role than relationship value. Furthermore, buyers base their future relationship intentions more on the current state of the relationship than suppliers. Our results suggest that role differences must be taken into account when studying institutional arrangements in B-to-B markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-93
Number of pages12
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Buyer-seller relationship
  • Relationship value
  • Roles
  • Switching costs
  • Transaction cost analysis

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