In the agri-food industries, particular importance is given to distribution. Indeed, maintaining good relationships with distributors is a necessity for industries seeking sound marketing performance. In this context, Moroccan agri-food companies recognize the importance of developing customer loyalty. They focus on maintaining good relationships based on trust with their distributors. Considerable research has investigated trust in business-to-business (B-to-B) relationships; however, research in the agri-food industry needs further investigation. Indeed, some past research studied the effect of benevolence on loyalty (Chen, 2008; Rampl, Eberhardt, Schütte & Kenning, 2012) but they ignored studying the effect on two types of loyalty – attitudinal and behavioral – in agri-food industries.
The paper here contributes to the literature in a number of meaningful ways. First, we explore loyalty strategies used by agri-food industries to maintain distributors. This enables us to better understand how trust can boost agri-food B-to-B relationships and distributor’s loyalty. We also investigate exactly the trust dimension (benevolence; credibility) that affects more loyalty in the agri-food industry. A better understanding of the trust dimension should provide practical guidelines as to how to facilitate loyalty in B-to-B relationships. In addition, we test the two dimensions of loyalty and the importance of the attitudinal one. Using structural equation modeling to analyze data, our findings confirm the importance of benevolence in relationships between Moroccan agri-food industries and their distributors. Indeed, the results explain that the development of customer loyalty is influenced by the development of benevolence in relationships with distributors, especially on attitudinal loyalty.
Ouhna, L. (2019), "Trust in Relationships with Agri-food Distribution", New Insights on Trust in Business-to-Business Relationships (Advances in Business Marketing and Purchasing, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 103-119. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1069-096420190000026009
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