Determinants of Relationship Quality in Importer–Exporter Relationships



Despite significant evidence pointing to the key role of relationship quality in solidifying commercial relationships, limited attention has been paid to its determinants in an international context. In an attempt to fill this research gap, our study examines the impact of asset specificity, role performance and cultural sensitivity on the quality of the relationships between importers and their foreign suppliers. It is based on a mailed survey involving 292 importing firms. Relationship quality is presented as a higher-order concept that results in lower conflict and greater trust, commitment and satisfaction. The results indicate that asset specificity, role performance and cultural sensitivity play a significant positive role in building sound relationship quality. Several managerial implications are extracted from the study, as well as suggestions for future research.