Title: Precursors and outcomes of satisfaction in seller-customer business relationships: a sales perspective

Authors: Nils M. Høgevold; Göran Svensson; Mercy Mpinganjira

Addresses: Kristiania University College, P.O. Box 1195, Sentrum, 0107, Oslo, Norway ' Kristiania University College, P.O. Box 1195, Sentrum, 0107, Oslo, Norway ' College of Business and Economics, School of Consumer Intelligence and Information Systems, University of Johannesburg, C Ring 602, Kingsway Campus, South Africa

Abstract: Do the same precursors and outcomes apply in business relationships when the relationships are seen from the seller's perspective as opposed to the customer's perspective? Many studies on relationships, particularly those on business relationships, deal mainly with the buyer's perspective. In this study, we take the seller's perspective and test whether the precursors (trust and commitment) and outcomes (specific assets, opportunism and formalisation) of satisfaction, which are tested and retested across multiple contexts and through time to buyer business relationships, also applies to seller business relationships. Data was gathered from a cross-industry sample of Norwegian companies. The questionnaires returned from 213 key sales informants were completed satisfactorily and were useable in this study, generating a valid response rate of 40.7%. Follow-up interviews with sales executives revealed practical consequences of satisfaction, specific assets, opportunism and formalisation. The lesson learned from the feedback is that acting in a way that builds trust benefits both seller and customer.

Keywords: seller-buyer relationship; opportunism; formalisation; satisfaction; sales perspective; specific assets.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2020.10024962

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2020 Vol.13 No.4, pp.531 - 552

Received: 09 Apr 2019
Accepted: 26 May 2019

Published online: 21 Jul 2020 *

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