Open-mindedness and adaptive business style

Gro Alteren (School of Business and Economics, University of Tromsø, Tromso, Norway) (The Arctic University of Norway, Tromso, Norway)
Ana Alina Tudoran (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark)

International Marketing Review

ISSN: 0265-1335

Publication date: 13 May 2019



The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of relational competences, such as open-mindedness and the ability to adapt business style, in developing trustworthy relationships through communication in the export markets in different cultural contexts.


The analysis is performed on survey-based data from a sample consisting of 39.9 percent of the total population of Norwegian seafood companies involved in exporting, including 108 business relationships.


The findings reveal that adaptive business style and communication mediate the overall effect of open-mindedness on trust building between partners in the export markets. The adaptive business style fully explains the effect of open-mindedness on communication. Open-minded persons are better prepared to achieve communication on a high level because they are more likely to adapt to a new business style. Performing adaptive business style improves communication, particularly when the importer belongs to a dissimilar culture. For trust building, communication is equally important, irrespective of cultural differences.

Practical implications

Exporter should aim at recruiting open-minded people because they have the advantage that they are capable of performing a variety of negotiation styles and business approaches, depending on the situation.


This paper develops a model that integrates key constructs from the relational paradigm with constructs rooted in different research streams, extending our knowledge regarding salespeople competences that are important in order to develop business relationships in export markets.



Alteren, G. and Tudoran, A. (2019), "Open-mindedness and adaptive business style", International Marketing Review, Vol. 36 No. 3, pp. 365-390.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.