Title: The effect of product quality uncertainty on quality-screening efforts: does the purchase frequency and procurement channel choice matter?

Authors: Renger Kanani; Arnt Buvik

Addresses: Department of General Management, University of Dar es salaam Business School, P.O. Box 35046, Dar es salaam, Tanzania ' Department of Economics, Molde University College, Service Box 2110, 6402 Molde, Norway

Abstract: Product quality uncertainty is one of the major concerns for buyers in online transactions. In fact, research into the consequences and control of this uncertainty in online transactions has increased considerably in recent years. However, product quality uncertainty poses challenges not only to online buyers, but also to offline buyers. Therefore, the objectives of this empirical study were to examine the effect of product quality uncertainty on quality-screening efforts in offline transactions, and whether the frequency of purchase from the same source and the choice of procurement channel may be used as control mechanisms to reduce this effect. Empirical evidence from 239 small food-processing firms shows that product quality uncertainty has a positive effect on quality-screening efforts. Moreover, our findings demonstrate that this effect decreases significantly when food processors purchase frequently from the same source, and when they buy directly from the farm rather than through intermediaries.

Keywords: quality screening efforts; product quality uncertainty; purchase frequency; procurement channel.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2018.092774

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2018 Vol.11 No.4, pp.495 - 517

Received: 17 Feb 2017
Accepted: 11 Jun 2017

Published online: 05 Apr 2018 *

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