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The antecedents of relationship commitment in the management of relationships in business-to-business (B2B) financial services

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Abstract:

The importance of commitment in the management of long-term marketing relationships is well accepted in the marketing literature. There is, however, uncertainty regarding the antecedents of relationship commitment. The study on which this paper is based focused on four possible antecedents of relationship commitment, namely trust, communication, shared values and attractiveness of alternatives.

The study was conducted in the South African business-to-business (B2B) financial services industry. A web-based approach was used to survey 300 relationship managers, while data from 400 B2B clients were collected using a telephone survey. The relationship-manager data were analysed with regression analysis, while structural equation modelling (SEM) was used to analyse the client data.

The uniqueness of the study is the simultaneous consideration of the perceptions of both relationship managers and clients. As far as could be ascertained, a study of this nature has not yet been conducted in the B2B financial services industry. Based on the perceptions of both relationship managers and clients, the contribution of this study is the confirmation of the important roles of trust, communication, shared values and attractiveness of alternatives in the management of commitment to a relationship from both a customer and a provider perspective.

Keywords: ANTECEDENTS; COMMITMENT; RELATIONSHIP MARKETING

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725708X382019

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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