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Antecedents and postcedents of satisfaction in seller-business relationships: positive and negative alter egos

Nils Høgevold (Department of Marketing, Oslo School of Management, Kristiana University College, Oslo, Norway)
Göran Svensson (Oslo School of Management, Kristiana University College, Oslo, Norway)
Mornay Roberts-Lombard (Department of Marketing, University of Johannesburg – Johannesburg, South Africa)

European Business Review

ISSN: 0955-534X

Article publication date: 11 November 2020

Issue publication date: 15 July 2021

583

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores a seller’s perspective in business relationships to validate whether the findings reported in previous studies based on buyer business relationships apply to seller business relationships. The purpose of this study is to test whether satisfaction functions as a connector between positive antecedents (trust and commitment) and negative postcedents (opportunism and conflict) in a business-to-business (B2B) relationship, based on a seller perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive research design was applied and data was collected from Norwegian companies from the database of LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator. Respondents (Sales or Marketing Managers/Directors or Key Account Managers) were asked to identify one main business customer with whom they had interacted in the past year. A total of 213 responses could be used for data analysis. In addition, the measurement and structural models were assessed.

Findings

Trust was established as a positive alter ego of opportunism and opportunism as a negative alter ego of trust. The commitment was also determined to be a positive alter ego of conflict, with conflict being a negative alter ego of commitment. Furthermore, it was proven that alter egos are not opposites, but facets of antecedents and postcedents in relation to a connector, satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The tested model endorses the hypothesised relationships between trust, commitment, satisfaction, opportunism and conflict in Norwegian B2B relationships. Satisfaction is linked to its two antecedents and its outcomes and the hypothesised relationship between opportunism and conflict is also endorsed from a seller’s perspective in B2B relationships.

Practical implications

The findings can assist the B2B industry to understand how trust and commitment foster satisfaction, how satisfaction influences opportunism and conflict, and how opportunism relates to conflict in a seller-business relationship.

Originality/value

No previous study has focussed on relationship marketing in B2B relationships from a seller’s perspective to establish whether satisfaction functions as a connector between trust and commitment and opportunism and conflict.

Keywords

Citation

Høgevold, N., Svensson, G. and Roberts-Lombard, M. (2021), "Antecedents and postcedents of satisfaction in seller-business relationships: positive and negative alter egos", European Business Review, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 537-565. https://doi.org/10.1108/EBR-04-2020-0108

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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