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Comparing relationship of quality-satisfaction models: effects of B2B value co-creation

Vicente Sales-Vivó (Business Analysis and Strategy Section, AIDIMME Technology Institute, Valencia, Spain)
Irene Gil-Saura (Marketing Department, Facultad de Economía, Universidad de València, Valencia, Spain)
Martina G. Gallarza (Marketing, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Article publication date: 12 April 2021

Issue publication date: 8 July 2021




This paper addresses both conceptual and empirical value co-creation and relationship quality in a triadic approach for a B2B industrial context by 1) reviewing the relationship quality concept when social and economic satisfaction are addressed separately and 2) testing alternative models of relationship quality and economic satisfaction when value co-creation is introduced.


Two alternative models are developed where relationship quality is conceptualized as a higher-order multi-dimensional construct with three sub-factors: trust, commitment and social satisfaction. Data on the B2B relationship were collected from 77 partaking firms in the Spanish Furniture Market Observatory business panel, covering the manufacturer-retailer and manufacturer-supplier relationships for control and comparison purposes.


Using PLS-SEM, results reflect that social and economic satisfaction act differently in the B2B relationship. The effect of relationship quality on economic satisfaction is greater when value co-creation is introduced as a mediating variable, although this mediation is partial. Moreover, the mediating effect is greater in the manufacturer-supplier relationship than in the manufacturer-retailer one.


The paper reduces the conceptual gap between value exchanges in B2C and B2B contexts. It also introduces a less-common triadic approach along the supply chain for B2B industrial relationships. Evidence is provided on the importance of social satisfaction as an affective dimension of relationship quality and on the mediating role of value co-creation between relationship quality and economic satisfaction.



The authors are grateful to AIDIMME (Metal-processing, Furniture, Wood and Packaging Technology Institute) which runs the Spanish Furniture Market Observatory and has kindly collaborated in the empiric study. This observatory is funded by the Valencian Government through IVACE (The Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness). Data collection for this research has been funded by the Supporting Programme for Innovative Business Clusters (AEI, in Spanish) of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. Revision of the English version for submission has been funded by the Valencian Government. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for this study (National R&D Plan ECO2016-76553-R).


Sales-Vivó, V., Gil-Saura, I. and Gallarza, M.G. (2021), "Comparing relationship of quality-satisfaction models: effects of B2B value co-creation", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 49 No. 7, pp. 941-957.



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