Title: Relational focus in long duration buyer-seller relationships

Authors: Robert C. Fink; Kenneth J. Hatten; James P. Keeler; William L. James; Linda F. Edelman

Addresses: Department of Business Administration and Economics, Worcester State University, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602, USA ' School of Management, Boston University, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA ' Department of Economics, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio 43022, USA ' Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA ' Management Department, Bentley University, 175 Forest Street, Waltham, MA 02451, USA

Abstract: There is limited research on the effects of accumulated shared experience on the nature or character of buyer-seller relationships that have extended beyond a few short years. The evidence presented here suggests that when buyer-seller exchanges are sustained over the long-term, the direct effect of duration on relational choice changes in buyer-seller relationships over time. Further, this study suggests that duration moderates the effects of several environmental variables drawn from resource dependency theory and transaction cost economics on relational focus. In light of this evidence we argue that duration must be integrated into contract theory to help us understand how organisations adapt to change.

Keywords: interorganisational relationships; governance; resource dependency theory; transaction cost economics; TCE; buyer-seller relationships; long term relationships; shared experience; relational choice; duration; contract theory.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2017.082510

International Journal of Management and Decision Making, 2017 Vol.16 No.1, pp.73 - 96

Received: 08 Apr 2016
Accepted: 31 Oct 2016

Published online: 23 Feb 2017 *

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