Cultural Sensitivity, Information Exchange, and Relationship Quality: The Case of Vietnamese Exporters and their Asian vs. European Importers

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Research has shown that, to achieve successful longterm business relationships, firms should be sensitive to foreign partners' cultures and must be willing to share information with their partners. Despite the importance of this issue, little research has been undertaken, firstly, to examine the relationships among these two factors and relationship quality, and secondly, in the context of foreign partners' differing cultural backgrounds. To bridge this gap, this research attempts to examine the relationships between cultural sensitivity, information exchange and relationship quality between Vietnamese exporters and their foreign importers. In addition, the research investigates the strengths of these relationships for two groups of importers, Asian and European. A model hypothesising the relationships between these factors and relationship quality was developed. A random sample of 288 Vietnamese exporting firms, of which 134 were doing business with Asian importers and 154 with European importers, were surveyed to test the model via multigroup analysis in structural equation modelling. The results show that the model had an acceptable fit to the data and all the hypotheses were supported. The results also indicate that there was no difference in terms of the strengths of the relationships between Asian and European importers. Implications for business firms and directions for future research are also addressed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2004

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