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University of Technology Berlin

Institute of Business Administration

Department of Marketing
Wilmersdorfer Str. 148
10585 Berlin, Germany

Trust and Commitment in

Marketing Literature

Heiner Schütte (317256)

Bachelor Thesis

Professor Dr. Volker Trommsdorff

Dr. Steffen Herm

August 2010

Eidesstattliche Erklärung ........................................................................................................... 1

1. Introduction ............................................................................................................................ 2
2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment ........................................ 3
2.1. Definition of Commitment .............................................................................................. 4
2.2. Definition of Trust .......................................................................................................... 4
2.3. Trust and Commitment in a B2B Context ...................................................................... 5
2.4. Trust and Commitment in B2B Service Industries ......................................................... 9
2.5. Trust and Commitment in B2C Service Industries ....................................................... 11
2.6. Trust and Commitment in Meta-Analysis Encompassing B2B and B2C Settings ....... 13
3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream .......................... 14
3.1. Inconsistences ............................................................................................................... 14
3.2. Indirect Effect of Trust on Commitment....................................................................... 15
3.3. More Differentiated View of Trust and Commitment .................................................. 16
4. Further Aspects Concerning Trust and Commitment in Relationship Marketing ............... 21
4.1. Precursors and Consequences of Trust and Commitment............................................. 21
4.2. Further Aspects ............................................................................................................. 23
5. Discussion ............................................................................................................................ 25
Appendix A .............................................................................................................................. 30
Appendix B .............................................................................................................................. 30
Appendix C .............................................................................................................................. 53
References ................................................................................................................................ 56
1 Eidesstattliche Erklärung

Eidesstattliche Erklärung

Die selbstständige und eigenhändige Ausfertigung versichert an Eides


……………………………………………….. Berlin, den 26.08.2010

2 1. Introduction

Trust and Commitment in Marketing

Abstract. A well-established literature stream identified trust and commitment as
key variables of relationship marketing with trust being the major determinant of
commitment. This literature review provides all environmental conditions, which
have contributed to this generalization. On the other hand, contradictions and
modifications are analyzed. Additionally, important further aspects are taken into
account. Finally, conclusions are made, important precursors of trust and
commitment are analyzed, and consequently implications derived.

1. Introduction

In times of globalization, companies‟ financial performance becomes more and

more important to remain competitive on international markets. Thus, sharing
capabilities and resources in successful interorganizational relationships is an
ambitious possibility to generate competitive advantages (Leonidou et al., 2008;
Palmatier et al., 2007). To develop and maintain relationships successfully it is
important for managers to understand the drivers of relationship performance
(Palmatier, Dant, & Grewal, 2007). A wide stream of marketing literature points
out that trust and commitment are key variables for relationship success (see, for
example, Andaleeb, 1996; Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010; Eastlick et al., 2006; Ganesan
& Hess, 1997; Garbarino & Johnson, 1999; Kingshott & Pecotich, 2007;
Leonidou et al., 2008; Morgan & Hunt, 1994;). But, under which conditions? Are
these key roles restricted to specific environmental settings? And if trust and
commitment are key variables of relationship marketing how are these constructs
interconnected? How they are causally related? Additionally, practitioners have to
understand the consequences and, especially, the precursors of these major
constructs. That is important because antecedents and outcomes are the elevating
screws for managers. Implications can be deviated and efficient strategies evolved
(Cater & Zabkar, 2009; Palmatier et al., 2007). Furthermore, as the role of trust
and commitment in relationship marketing is well established, it remains to
identify possible modifications and contradictions. Under which conditions differ
3 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

the roles of trust and commitment from the well-established key roles, and what
are possible explanations for it? Moreover, differences in conceptualizations and
operationalizations may cause different or rather more differentiated results. This
will be considered and explored. The objective of this literature review is to shed
some light on all of these questions and problems.

The remainder of this study is organized as follows: first, some general

illustrations and definitions are provided (i.e., definition of trust and
commitment); second, empirical results confirming the well-established literature
stream are presented with regard to the environmental setting where these results
were found; third, contradictions and modifications in conjunction with possible
explanations are provided; fourth, further aspects concerning trust and
commitment (e.g., important antecedents and outcomes) are mentioned; and
finally, conclusions and implications are discussed.

2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports


Origin of a well established stream of marketing literature is Morgan and Hunt‟s

(1994) article “The Commitment-Trust Theory of Relationship Marketing”. In this
article the authors conceptualized and tested a model, which hypothesizes trust
and relationship commitment as key mediating variables between five antecedents
and five outcomes as sub-constructs of relationship marketing success (“key
mediating variable” KMV model). Morgan and Hunt (1994) conceptualized
relationship marketing as an ongoing process, which lasts for a relative long
period of time and is relevant in different partnerships (p. 21). The former aspect,
the long-term perspective of relationship marketing, is one reason for trust and
relationship commitment being central constructs for relationship marketing
success. Trust and commitment encourage marketers to aim long-term benefits,
which result from continuing existing partnerships instead of prefering attractive
short-term alternatives. Further reasons for the importance of trust and
commitment in relational exchanges are the encouragement of marketers to
work at preserving relationship investments by cooperating with exchange
partners (…) and view potentially high-risk actions as being prudent
4 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

because of the belief that their partners will not act opportunistically.
Therefore, when both commitment and trust – not just one of the other –
are present, they produce outcomes that promote efficiency, productivity,
and effectiveness. (Morgan & Hunt, 1994, p. 22).

2.1. Definition of Commitment

Moreover, relationship commitment is defined as “an exchange partner believing
that an ongoing relationship with another is so important as to warrant maximum
efforts at maintaining it; that is, the committed party believes the relationship is
worth working on to ensure that it endures indefinitely” (Morgan & Hunt, 1994, p.
23). Commitment entails vulnerability and “connotes solidarity and cohesion,
encouraging the channel partner firms to resist apparently attractive short-term
alternatives in favor of the expected long-term benefits of staying with existing
partners” (Dwyer, Schurr, & Oh, 1987). Thus, commitment “goes beyond a
simple evaluation of the costs and benefits associated with a relationship”
(Ganesan & Hess, 1997, p. 441).

2.2. Definition of Trust

The aspect of vulnerability leads to the fact that only trustworthy partners will be
chosen for relational exchanges. Morgan and Hunt (1994) defined trust “as
existing when one party has confidence in an exchange partner‟s reliability and
integrity” (p. 23). In addition, Morgan and Hunt (1994) highlighted “that
confidence on the part of trusting party results from the firm belief that the
trustworthy party is reliable and has high integrity, which are associated with such
qualities as consistent competent, honest, fair, responsible, helpful, and
benevolent” (p. 23). In other words, “trust is defined as a willingness to rely on an
exchange partner in whom on has confidence [italics excluded]” (Moorman,
Zaltman, & Deshpande, 1992, p. 315). Next to this belief component, Moorman,
Zaltman and Deshpande (1993) stressed the necessity of the presence of a
behavioral intention component, which “reflects a reliance on a partner and
involves vulnerability and uncertainty on the part of the trustor” (p. 82). “In social
psychology, a consensus seems to be emerging that trust encompasses two
essential elements – trust in the partner‟s honesty and trust in the partner‟s
benevolence.” (Geyskens, Steenkamp, Scheer, & Kumar, 1996, p. 307). Andaleeb
(1996) has emphasized “that trusting involves future contingencies in which the
5 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

partner, in whom trust is bestowed, has a certain degree of freedom to disappoint

the expectations of the trusting party” (p. 79).

2.3. Trust and Commitment in a B2B Context

Accordingly, trust “is a major determinant of relationship commitment” (Morgan
& Hunt, 1994, p. 24), as it has a positive effect on commitment. This relationship
between the two constructs is one central idea of Morgan and Hunt‟s key
mediating variable (KMV) model (see Fig.1 in Appendix A), and justifies the
indirect relationships between trust and the relationship outcomes acquiescence,
propensity to leave as well as cooperation. More generally, as hypothesized within
the KMV model, the antecedents shared values and communication directly
enhance trust, whereas opportunistic behavior directly lowers trust. On the other
hand, trust directly increases the outcomes cooperation as well as functional
conflict and decreases uncertainty. Furthermore, it is suggested that the precursors
relationship termination costs, relationship benefits and shared values have a
positive and direct effect on relationship commitment1, while commitment
directly fosters acquiescence and cooperation as well as diminishes the propensity
to leave a relationship (Morgan & Hunt, 1994, p. 22). Thus, the last three
constructs are hypothesized as relational outcomes. Moreover, Morgan and Hunt
(1994) hypothesized that, both, trust and commitment mediate the relationship
between shared values and the construct of cooperation. Hence, shared values and
cooperation are important constructs within the KMV model, especially the latter
which proactively promotes relationship marketing success (Morgan & Hunt,
1994, p. 26). For testing the hypothesized paths the authors collected data from a
national sample of independent automobile tire retailers in the USA. Results show
support for twelve of the 13 hypotheses. Only the relationship between
relationship benefits and relationship commitment does not show a significant
result (Morgan & Hunt, 1994).

Consequently, “identifying commitment and trust as key mediating variables is

critical to the study and management of relationship marketing” (Morgan & Hunt,
1994, p. 31). Hence, results imply that commitment and trust are key to
understand the relationship development process, especially for practitioners

The structural equation modeling test of this relationship shows no significant result (vide infra).
6 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

(Morgan & Hunt, 1994, p. 32). But what can practitioners actively do to increase
trust and commitment in a partnership? Morgan and Hunt
posit that relationship commitment and trust develop when firms attend to
relationships by (1) providing resources, opportunities, and benefits that
are superior to the offerings of alternative partners; (2) maintain high
standards of corporate values and allying oneself with exchange partners
having similar values; (3) communicating valuable information, including
expectations, market intelligence, and evaluations of the partner‟s
performance; and (4) avoiding malevolently taking advantage of their
exchange partners. Such actions will enable firms and their networks to
enjoy sustainable competitive advantages over their rivals and their
networks in the global marketplace. (1994, p. 34).

The context of B2B relationships also represents the basis of Andaleeb‟s (1996)
experimental study. The author empirically analyzed manufacturer-distributor
relationships to gain a better understanding about “the independent and interactive
effects of trust and dependence on satisfaction and commitment” (Andaleeb,
1996, p. 77). Results prove the direct and positive impact of trust upon the level of
commitment as well as the interaction effect of trust and dependence (cf.
Geyskens, et al., 1996) on commitment. More precisely, the latter reveals that
the buyer is dependent on the supplier, the buyer‟s commitment will be
high and will not be very sensitive to different levels of trust in the
supplier. When the buyer is not dependent on the supplier, the buyer‟s
commitment will be very sensitive to different levels of trust in the
supplier. (Andaleeb, 1996, p. 82).

A more specific B2B environment has been in the focus of a study by Perry,
Sengupta, and Krapfel (2004). The authors investigated the roles of trust,
commitment, and effectiveness in technological uncertain environments within
horizontal strategic alliances (HSA). Similar to Morgan and Hunt (1994), results
of empirical tests of Perry et al.‟s (2004) model provide evidence for the
supporting relationship between trust and commitment and, in turn, for the
positive impact of commitment upon the level of effectiveness (pp. 954-955).
Furthermore, the authors tested interacting effects of trust, termination penalties,
7 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

technological uncertainty, and commitment (Perry, et al., 2004, p. 955). For

instance, Perry et al. (2004) proved “that trust and termination penalties work in a
supplementary manner to foster commitment” (p. 952). Consequently, the authors
posit that “the inclusion of conceptual safeguards, like termination penalties,
seems wise even when trust is present” (Perry, et al., 2004, p. 955). In addition,
they detected a combined negative effect of trust and technological uncertainty on
commitment as well as a combined positive effect of commitment and termination
penalties on effectiveness (Perry, et al., 2004, p. 953).

In 2007, Palmatier, Dant, and Grewal contributed another study, based on data
collected from business-to-business relationships, to discussion (Palmatier, et al.,
2007, p. 178). Thereby, the contribution concentrated on “a comparative
longitudinal analysis of theoretical perspectives of interorganizational relationship
performance” (Palmatier, et al., 2007, p. 172). By evaluating evidence from 396
seller-customers exchange dyads across four consecutive years, the authors again
reinforced the mediating role of trust and commitment as well as the positive
effect of trust on commitment. Therefore, results detect that trust and commitment
are immediate precursors of exchange performance, whereas trust has direct and
indirect effects on relationship outcomes (Palmatier, et al., 2007). Furthermore,
the authors proved that environmental dynamism and market diversity,
respectively, moderate the effects of trust and commitment on specific relational
outcomes (e.g., environmental dynamism and market diversity moderate
commitment‟s impact on cooperation) (Palmatier, et al., 2007, p. 183). However,
as on the one hand trust and commitment do not fully mediate the effects of
relational investments on outcomes (cf. Palmatier, Dant, Grewal, & Evans, 2006)
and on the other hand “only the direct effects of trust, commitment, and
[relationship-specific investments] RSIs remain across all measurement periods
and perspectives (…), commitment, RSIs, and trust are key drivers of relational
outcomes” (Palmatier, et al., 2007, p. 186).

More recently, Barnes, Leonidou, L.C., Siu, and Leonidou, C.N. (2010) conducted
empirical research in a Chinese B2B setting (cf. Keh & Xie, 2009). Specifically,
they conceptualized a model to explore the effects of several extensively
examined constructs (i.e., opportunism, trust, conflict, commitment,
communication, satisfaction, and long-term orientation) in Western exporter-
8 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

Hong Kong importer relationships. Barnes et al.‟s (2010) results provide evidence
for a positive and direct effect of trust on commitment, too. Furthermore, the
authors verified a mediating role of trust and commitment. Further findings
document that opportunism diminishes trust, which, in turn, influences
commitment. Consecutively, commitment facilitates satisfaction. ”Surprisingly,
this [Barnes et al.‟s (2010)] study did not confirm the well-documented effect of
trust on satisfaction with the working relationship” (Barnes, et al., 2010, p. 48).

Equally, Leonidou, L.C., Talias, and Leonidou, C.N. (2008) also conducted a
study among international industrial buyer-seller relationships in a B2B context.
“Specifically, the emphasis is on the sources of power exercised and how these
affect trust and commitment in the relationship through the mediating role of
conflict and satisfaction.” (Leonidou, et al., 2008, p. 92). The authors verified that
exercised coercive power increases conflict and decreases satisfaction, whereas, in
contrast, exercised non-coercive power impedes trust. In turn, conflict erodes and
satisfaction enhances trust. Therefore, to avoid harmful and facilitate healthy
relationships the nature of power exerted should be carefully analyzed because it
is important to trace coercive and non-coercive power sources. “Finally, the study
confirmed the repeatedly proved positive effect of trust on commitment” and
concluded “that the nature of the power source exercised plays an instrumental
role in fostering or weakening trust and commitment in international business
relationships, through the mediating role of conflict and satisfaction.” (Leonidou,
et al., 2008, p. 100).

In 2007, a further study in a B2B environment concerning the trust-commitment

relationship has been published by Kingshott and Pecotich (2007). The authors
conceptualized a model based on social exchange theory, which was tested by a
sample of 343 distributor firms within the motorized vehicle industry (Kingshott
& Pecotich, 2007, p. 1053). Results show that the construct of psychological
contracts “have a positive impact upon the level of trust and commitment within
the relationship; however, perceived violations of the contract terms were found to
reduce the distributor‟s level of trust” (Kingshott & Pecotich, 2007, p. 1053).
More specifically, Kingshott and Pecotich (2007) found evidence that
psychological contracts on the one hand directly increase the level of trust and
commitment and that on the other hand the mediating role of trust boosts the
9 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

effect of psychological contracts on commitment indirectly. Further results prove

that contract violations decrease the level of trust, while trust positively affects
commitment (Kingshott & Pecotich, 2007, p. 1062). Hence, Kingshott and
Pecotich‟s (2007) “findings are consistent with the growing body of evidence in
the marketing literature highlighting this trust-commitment nexus” (p. 1062).

2.4. Trust and Commitment in B2B Service Industries

Considering that Morgan and Hunt‟s (1994) Commitment-Trust Theory is “a
widely accepted B-to-B relationship marketing paradigm” (Eastlick, Lotz, &
Warrington, 2006, p. 877), Keh and Xie (2009) chose as well a B2B context but
certainly examined services instead of products as the core of relationships. The
authors conceptualized a model within customer trust and customer identification
being mediators between corporate reputation and customer commitment. In turn,
customer commitment is hypothesized to be a direct precursor of the intention to
repeat a purchase and the willingness to pay a price premium (Keh & Xie, 2009,
p. 734). Results, based on data collected from customers of Chinese service firms,
support, among others, all of these relations. In contrast to previous studies
(e.g.,Morgan & Hunt, 1994), Keh and Xie (2009) explored customer identification
instead of trust as the major determinant of commitment (p. 740). “Therefore,
managers should realize that trust is fundamental to buying-selling relationships,
while identification is more effective to retaining customers.” (Keh & Xie, 2009,
p. 740). Nevertheless, as “customers who have deep trust in their providers tend to
continue the relationship” (Keh & Xie, 2009, p. 739), trust still remains as an
important mediating construct and an important precursor of commitment.
Moreover, Keh and Xie‟s (2009) findings demonstrate that corporate reputation is
an important precursor of trust and customer identification.

However, Moorman, Zaltman and Deshpande (1992) also empirically proved the
positive effect of trust upon the level of commitment, even prior to Morgan and
Hunt (1994). The authors pointed out that trust in a B2B context within
relationships between market researchers and market research users only has
indirect effects on relational outcomes (e.g., utilization of market research
information). Thus, trust acts as a determinant of relationship processes. One of
these processes is the mediation of commitment. More precisely, Moorman et al.
(1992) documented that trust increases commitment, which, in turn, positively
10 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

influences the utilization of market research information. Furthermore, results of

empirical tests detect that the effects in interorganizational dyads, as hypothesized
within Moorman et al.‟s (1992) conceptual model, are just a little stronger than in
intraorganizational dyads (p. 314).

A replication and extension of Moorman et al.‟s (1992) study has been conducted
by Grayson and Ambler (1999), who shed some light on the decreasing impact of
trust, commitment, and involvement during the use of services in long-term
relationships. Thereby, the authors on the one hand adapted four key hypotheses
of Moorman et al.‟s (1992) study to a more general service context and on the
other hand added further investigations (Grayson & Ambler, 1999, p. 133). Out of
it, results provide evidence that on the one hand trust again directly fosters
commitment and on the other hand that trust additionally indirectly fosters
commitment through the mediating construct of rising expectations. Though,
further results indicate that the length of a relationship will dampens the impact of
trust. Hence, trust “is a significant predictor of marketing services use in short
relationships but not long ones” (Grayson & Ambler, 1999, p. 135).
Simultaneously to the study of Moorman et al. (1992), not even the replication of
Grayson and Ambler (1999) could
support trust or commitment as antecedents for advertising use, a finding
that seems to run counter to relationship marketing theory. Service
managers seeking to develop trust and commitment with their clients
therefore should recognize that building trust and commitment will not
always have a simple and positive effect on clients‟ use of their services.
(pp. 138-139).

Likewise, Farrelly and Quester (2003) chose the case of sponsorship business-to-
business relationships to be “the focus of an empirical investigation aimed at
uncovering the potential effect of market orientation, exhibited by both parties of
the sponsorship dyad, upon trust and commitment” (p. 530). Thus, this empirical
analysis is a further evidence for the direct and positive relationship between trust
and commitment. Additionally, on the one hand it suggested trust being and
commitment not being a mediating variable. On the other hand it proved that
market orientation influences trust and commitment positively (Farrelly &
Quester, 2003, p. 543).
11 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

Furthermore, Tellefsen and Thomas (2005) investigated service firm-business

service customer relationships and confirmed the positive effect of trust on
commitment, too. Though, the authors introduced a refinement in comparison to
Morgan and Hunt (1994), for example. They expanded conceptualizations and
examined the effects of several antecedents on two types of commitment, namely
personal and organizational commitment. The latter “reflects the bond between
the buying and selling firm”, while personal commitment “involves the bond
between the two firms‟ representatives” (Tellefsen & Thomas, 2005, p. 23).
Furthermore, as Tellefsen and Thomas (2005) proved that personal trust fosters
personal commitment, whereas organizational trust strengthens organizational
commitment, they also introduced an expanded conceptualization of trust. Further
results document that on the one hand cost performance increases organizational
commitment and that on the other hand likeability heightens personal
commitment. In addition, findings provide evidence for the positive impact of
dependence and continuity upon the level of both forms of commitment. In turn, a
higher level of either personal or organizational commitment leads to a higher
level of relational exchange (Tellefsen & Thomas, 2005). Thus, the authors‟
contributions imply the importance of including both personal and organizational
levels in the analysis of service business models and the coordination of efforts.

In 2007, a further study of business-to-business relationships in service industries

was published by Caceres and Paparoidamis (2007). The authors‟ empirical
analysis of data collected from a survey of advertising agencies clients
(corporations) again proved that trust fosters relationship commitment (Caceres &
Paparoidamis, 2007, p. 853). To specify, Caceres and Paparoidamis (2007) have
shown that relationship quality mediates the relationship between service quality
and the relationship outcome loyalty (p. 838). Sub-constructs of relationship
quality are relationship satisfaction, trust and, commitment. In addition, trust and
commitment are mediators between relationship satisfaction and loyalty, while
relationship satisfaction additionally mediates the relationship between service
quality and loyalty (Caceres & Paparoidamis, 2007, p. 846).

2.5. Trust and Commitment in B2C Service Industries

Similarly, Aurier and N‟Goala (2010) also chose a service industry to investigate
the mediating roles of trust and relationship commitment in service relationships.
12 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

But Aurier and N‟Goala (2010), in contrast to the authors mentioned above,
concentrated on a business-to-consumer (B2C) setting. In the face of customer
relationship management (CRM) the authors explored how service companies are
able to influence the effects of overall customer satisfaction (a sub-construct of
service quality), trust, and relationship commitment on patronage behaviors (i.e.,
relationship maintenance and relationship development), which are comparable
with the construct of loyalty (cf. Caceres & Paparoidamis, 2007). Aurier and
N‟Goala (2010) used the database of a bank (i.e., a regional branch of Credit
Agricole in the Southwest of France) to develop hypotheses, and tested these
hypotheses using longitudinal research. Results show on the one hand that,
equally to Morgan and Hunt (1994), trust has a positive impact on relationship
commitment and on the other hand that the two constructs have different effects
on various outcomes. Therefore, “trust and relationship commitment play
differing and complementary roles” (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2009, p. 15). According
to that, trust influences relationship development, whereas relationship
commitment influences relationship maintenance. “In order to maintain and
develop service relationships, we [the authors] show[ed] that trust and relationship
commitment must be the object of specific and complementary strategies,
depending on the situation of the firm.” (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2009, p. 15). For
instance, trust is important for reaching objectives of a short-term perspective.

Likewise, Eastlick, Lotz, and Warrington (2006) empirically verified the validity
of Morgan and Hunt‟s (1994) Commitment-Trust Theory in online B2C
relationships. Thereby, they have emphasized the critical role of trust and
commitment in exchange relationships (Eastlick, et al., 2006, pp. 883-884). More
precisely, the authors showed that consumers‟ trust in a services e-tailer is
positively affecting their commitment toward the e-tailer. In addition, empirical
results, based on a random sample of Internet subscribers, support the mediating
roles of trust and commitment. Trust mediates the relationship between privacy
concerns as well as services e-tailer reputation and commitment. Hence,
commitment just is a mediator between trust and purchase intent, a relationship
outcome (Eastlick, et al., 2006, p. 878).

Furthermore, Garbarino and Johnson (1999) introduced an interesting point

concerning the Commitment-Trust Theory (Morgan & Hunt, 1994) as their
13 2. Well-Established Literature Stream: Trust supports Commitment

“findings indicate not only the generalizability of their theory to a consumer

context, but also identify an important limiting condition” (1999, p. 82). Their
research results, based on a survey of customers of a nonprofit theatre in New
York City, support that trust and commitment only are mediating constructs
between component attitudes and future intentions when customers are highly
relational. In the case of customers showing a low relational orientation it is the
construct of overall satisfaction which mediates the relationship between
component attitudes and future intentions (Garbarino & Johnson, 1999, p. 81).
Therefore, relationship marketing programs which aim to strengthen relationships
with high relational customers should concentrate on increasing trust and
commitment, while transactional marketing programs should focus on enhancing
customer satisfaction (Garbarino & Johnson, 1999, p. 82). In sum, Garbarino and
Johnson (1999) found evidence for the generalization of Morgan and Hunt‟s
(1994) Commitment-Trust Theory to the consumer context with the restriction
that this only is valid for high relational customers.

2.6. Trust and Commitment in Meta-Analysis Encompassing B2B and B2C

In 1998, Geyskens, Steenkamp, and Kumar contributed some generalizations
about trust in marketing channel relationships. The authors‟ meta-analysis
supports the key mediating role of trust in marketing channels as well as the
positive impact of trust upon the level of long-term orientation, which is
simultaneously stated as commitment (Geyskens, Steenkamp, & Kumar, 1998, p.
242). Besides, Geyskens et al. (1998) identified economic outcomes (as one type
performance outcomes) and communication as the most effective precursors of
trust. Additionally,
main effects that were not significant are also of interest. No evidence is
found that the relations are systematically affected by whether the buyer or
the seller was investigated, the sample consisted of commercial channel
members or end users, involved consumer or industrial products, or the
operationalization of trust included the two facets of honesty and
benevolence or not. (Geyskens, et al., 1998, p. 242).

Moreover, an extensive contribution to the analysis of the trust-commitment

relationship was afforded by Geyskens, Steenkamp, and Kumar (1999). Results
14 3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream

of this meta-analysis provide evidence for the positive effect of trust on

commitment, which is not surprising as some of the previous studies are included
in their meta-analysis. Further results support that conflict within a relationship
decreases trust, while noneconomic satisfaction increases the level of trust
(Geyskens, et al., 1999, p. 232). Moreover, Geyskens et al. (1999) posit that the
positive relationship between trust and commitment has “been overresearched” (p.
234). For this reason, further empirical investigation of this relationship “should
be only to demonstrate that there may be conditions in which [this relationship] do
not hold” (Geyskens, et al., 1999, p. 234). Accordingly, the following section will
introduce some contributions to these conditions.

3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established

Literature Stream

3.1. Inconsistences
Gao, Sirgy, and Bird (2005) emphasized the necessity of being aware of the side
of a dyad being in the core of investigations. They examined constructs relating to
both sides of supplier-buyer relationships in a B2B environment (p. 397). In the
authors‟ conceptual model “buyer trust was treated as both a direct predictor of
[decision-making uncertainty] DMU and a mediating variable for the supplier-
side variables” (Gao, et al., 2005, p. 401). Results confirm the mediating role of
buyer trust between buyer-perceived supplier trust as well as buyer-perceived
supplier commitment on the one hand and buyer DMU on the other hand. In other
words, buyer-perceived supplier commitment fosters buyer trust (Gao, et al.,
2005). Furthermore, buyer-perceived supplier commitment has a supplemental
direct and negative effect on buyer DMU (Gao, et al., 2005, p. 402). Certainly,
when making theoretical propositions it should be considered that the collection
of data only from the buyer-side “assume a certain degree of convergence
between buyer and supplier perceptions of the supplier commitment, supplier
trust, and supplier dependence” (Gao, et al., 2005, p. 404).

Furthermore, Coote, Forrest, and Tam (2003) conceptualized a model within trust
being the mediating variable between three well-established antecedents (i.e.,
communication, conflict, and similarity) and commitment. They tested the
15 3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream

hypothesized paths by analyzing non-Western B2B industrial marketing

relationships (i.e., between Chinese-owned businesses in a regional Asia-pacific
country). Thereby, the authors did not find a significant result for the
hypothesized positive association between trust and commitment, which “is
inconsistent with a premise of relationship marketing and past research” (Coote, et
al., 2003, p. 601). Additionally, results of this analysis do not support the argued
mediating role of trust. In contrast, Coote et al.‟s (2003) findings indicate direct
negative effects of conflict and similarity as well as a direct positive effect of
communication on commitment. Indeed, the associations of the two former
constructs only are significant when the moderating effect of normative contracts
is low. Coote et al. (2003) found the same associations between the three
antecedents and trust with the exception that the impact of similarity upon the
level of trust is positive instead of negative. However, the authors provide some
explanations for their contradicting results, as they emphasized “that the
moderating influence of normative contracting provides a potential explanation
for these inconsistencies” (Coote, et al., 2003, p. 602). On the other hand the
specialized setting may be the limiting factor of the authors‟ findings significance.
Nevertheless, Coote et al.‟s (2003) results imply that “marketing managers should
consider how normative contracts can be developed” (p. 602) and highlight the
importance of communication as well as the danger of conflict (Coote, et al.,

3.2. Indirect Effect of Trust on Commitment

Moreover, some modifications have been introduced by MacMilllan, Money,K.,
Money,A., and Downing (2005), who transferred the Commitment-Trust Theory
to the not-for-profit sector. MacMillan et al. (2005) used Morgan and Hunt‟s
(1994) KMV model as basis for the development of an adapted model. For this
reason, the KMV model “was amended to include both material and nonmaterial
benefits (…) with trust being an antecedent of nonmaterial benefits. As noted
above, outcome variables were also excluded.” (MacMillan, et al., 2005, p. 810).
The main difference of MacMillan et al.‟s (2005) model, in comparison to the
KMV model, is the introduction of the non-material benefits construct as a
mediator between trust and commitment (p. 810). Thus, for case of business-to-
16 3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream

business relationships in the non-profit sector results indicate that trust only has an
indirect impact upon the level of commitment (MacMillan, et al., 2005, p. 811).

Likewise, Brashear, Boles, Bellenger, and Books (2003) verified an indirect effect
of trust upon the level of commitment in a specific B2B setting (p. 197). The
authors examined precursors and outcomes of interpersonal trust in internal sales
manager-salesperson relationships (Brashear, et al., 2003, p. 189). Tests of
hypothesized paths within their conceptual model showed that shared values and
managerial respect, both, have a significant positive effect on salesperson trust.
Increasing trust enhances job satisfaction and the level of social norms of the
exchange, which both, in turn, lead to a higher level of organizational
commitment. In other words, in the examined context the constructs job
satisfaction and relationalism, both, mediate the link between salesperson trust
and organizational commitment (Brashear, et al., 2003, p. 195). However,
Brashear et al. (2003) stressed that differences in findings, in comparison to
previous studies (e.g., the interfirm relationships in a channel-of-distribution
context examined by Morgan and Hunt (1994)) “may reflect context-specific
trust-building processes” (Brashear, et al., 2003, p. 195).

3.3. More Differentiated View of Trust and Commitment

Operationalization of trust. Ganesan (1994) conceptualized and empirically
tested a model within trust and dependence being mediators between several
antecedents and the construct of long-term orientation (p. 2). The latter is referred
to be commitment (Anderson & Weitz, 1992). Hence, long-term orientation is
seen as a synonym of commitment (Ganesan, 1994). Moreover, Ganesan (1994)
investigated the effects of trust in a B2B context using a multidimensional
approach. Thereby, the author operationalized trust by its major dimensions
credibility and benevolence (Ganesan, 1994, p. 3). For testing the conceptual
model the author collected and analyzed data from two different perspectives, a
retailer and a vendor perspective (Ganesan, 1994, p. 1). With regard to previous
findings, Ganesan‟s (1994) analysis provides one crucial result. Only one
dimension of trust, namely credibility, has a significant effect on long-term
orientation, whereas the other dimension, benevolence, do not (Ganesan, 1994, p.
17 3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream

2). In other words, the multidimensional approach of trust yielded that only
credibility and not benevolence fosters long-term orientation or commitment,
respectively. Further results indicate “that the effect of dependence on long-term
orientation is affected by the channel role. Retailers are likely to have a long-term
orientation with a vendor on whom they are dependent”, while “vendors are likely
to develop long-term orientation only if the retailer is highly dependent on them”
(Ganesan, 1994, p. 12).

The construct of trust is in the focus of Ganesan and Hess‟s (1997) study, too. The
authors highlighted the importance of a more differentiated view of “trust as a
multi-dimensional construct” (Ganesan & Hess, 1997, p. 439). Therefore, they
distinguished among the levels (interpersonal, organizational) and dimensions
(credibility, benevolence) of trust. Consequently, Ganesan and Hess (1997)
applied these differentiated view for their empirical research. Regression analyses
only have shown significant paths between organizational benevolence as well as
interpersonal credibility and commitment. In other words, organizational
credibility and interpersonal benevolence do not have a significant impact on
commitment (Ganesan & Hess, 1997, p. 445).

In 2005, Johnson and Grayson also operationalized trust more differentiated. The
authors‟ “study has produced moderate evidence in favor of conceptualizing trust
as having cognitive and affective dimensions in financial service exchanges”,
which may in a B2C context “be fruitful for exploring the managerial benefits of
trust” (Johnson & Grayson, 2005, p. 505). “Cognitive trust is a customer‟s
confidence or willingness to rely on a service provider‟s competence and
reliability.” (Johnson & Grayson, 2005, p. 501). Whereas, the emotion-driven
element of affective trust is the “confidence one places in a partner”, which is
“characterized by feelings of security and perceived strength of the relationship”
(Johnson & Grayson, 2005, p. 501). Moreover, Johnson and Grayson (2005)
empirically showed that affective and cognitive trust are influenced by different
antecedents and, in turn, also lead to different consequences (Johnson & Grayson,
2005, p. 505).

Operationalization of commitment. However, Geyskens, Steenkamp, Scheer,

and Kumar (1996) considered some modifications and contradictions of Morgan
18 3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream

and Hunt‟s (1994) Commitment-Trust Theory. In their study the authors focused
on business-to-business relationships to examine the effects of the attitudinal
factor trust and the structural element interdependence on relationship
commitment, as central constructs of relationship marketing. Additionally, the
authors argued that the effects of these two constructs on relationship commitment
“are more complex than revealed by previous findings” (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p.
302). Hence, Geyskens et al. (1996) subclassified the concept of relationship
commitment by operationalizing two types of commitment, namely affective and
calculative commitment, which “clearly arise from different motivations for
maintaining a relationship” (p. 302). Affective commitment which has been solely
in the focus of past channel studies, e.g., Morgan and Hunt (1994), is an
attachment to or a positive regard for an organization (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p.
304) and “expresses the extent to which channel members like to maintain their
relationship with specific partners” (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p. 303). In contrast,
calculative commitment “results from a „cold‟ calculation of costs and benefits,
including an assessment of the investments made in the relationship and the
availability of alternatives to replace or make up for the foregone investments”
(Geyskens, et al., 1996, pp. 304-305). Besides, calculative commitment “measures
the degree to which channel members experience the need to maintain a
relationship” (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p. 303). Nevertheless, as definitions apply
“organizational behavior literature has typically conceptualized affective
commitment and calculative commitment as being independent” (Geyskens, et al.,
1996, p. 305). Moreover, the authors split up the construct of channel
interdependence structure and operationalized this construct by using the two sub-
constructs total interdependence and interdependence asymmetry (cf. Kumar,
Scheer, & Steenkamp, 1995). For their empirical analysis, the authors collected
data from automobile dealers in the United States and the Netherlands to
investigate the dealers‟ relationship to their suppliers (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p.
309). Results provide evidence that trust and interdependence have different
effects on relationship commitment. Thus, calculative commitment heightens
when total interdependence increases or rather trust in the supplier decreases.
Further, calculative commitment increases for the more dependent party and
decreases for the less dependent channel member when interdependence
asymmetry increases (Geyskens, et al., 1996). Results also show that trust and
19 3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream

total interdependence positively impact affective commitment, though results do

not indicate significance for the negative effect of interdependence asymmetry on
affective commitment (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p. 313). Nevertheless, “the negative
effects of interdependence asymmetry on affective commitment are mitigated by
trust” (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p. 309). Hence, findings indicate a moderating role
of trust on dependence asymmetry for both channel partners (Geyskens, et al.,
1996, p. 309). In sum, calculative commitment “is affected more strongly by the
interdependence structure of the relationship than is affective commitment, while
trust has a stronger effect on affective commitment than on calculative
commitment” (Geyskens, et al., 1996, p. 314). However, Geyskens et al. (1996)
also hypothesized a “positive interaction effect between trust and interdependence
asymmetry” (p. 313), which was confirmed by further significant results (cf.
Andaleeb, 1996).

As Gounaris (2005) investigated relationships between service providers and their

customers, the author‟s study focused on a more specific setting in a B2B context
(Gounaris, 2005, p. 125). In this study Gounaris (2005) explored on the one hand
the mediating role of trust between two antecedents (i.e., service quality and
customer bonding) and affective as well as calculative commitment. On the other
hand the author examined the mediating role of affective and calculative
commitment between trust and propensity to invest in as well as maintain a
relation (Gounaris, 2005, p. 133). Equally to Geyskens et al. (1996), Gounaris
(2005) proved that trust on the one hand directly enhances affective commitment
and on the other hand directly diminishes calculative commitment. Thus, the
author contributed to generalization of these associations as he empirical
confirmed Geyskens et al.‟s (1996) findings in B2B service industries (Gounaris,
2005, p. 134).. Moreover, Gounaris (2005) verified that both antecedents, service
quality and customer bonding, have a positive impact upon the level of trust (p.
234). Due to the fact that only affective commitment and not calculative
commitment has a significant and positive effect on both relationship outcomes,
practitioners should concentrate on developing affective instead of calculative
commitment, which requires mutual trust. “Gaining such trust frequently requires
relaxing dependency-creating mechanisms, and it certainly requires a strong
adherence on quality and customer bonding.” (Gounaris, 2005, p. 136).
20 3. Contradictions and Modifications of Well-Established Literature Stream

In 2001, de Ruyter, Moorman, and Lemmink published their results, which are
similar to the findings of Geyskens et al. (1996), too. Although, the authors
explored supplier-customer relationships in high-technology markets, “a highly
specialized and idiosyncratic setting” (de Ruyter, Moorman, & Lemmink, 2001, p.
282), they also verified that in a B2B context trust increases affective and
decreases calculative commitment. Additionally, de Ruyter et al. (2001) proved
that a relationship building block, including trust, affective, and calculative
commitment, mediates the effects of all antecedents (i.e., offer, relationship, and
market characteristics) on loyalty intention, a relationship outcome (p. 281).
Therefore, since “affective commitment and trust play such an essential role in
customer relationships, marketers of high-technology products are advised to
emphasize activities and initiatives that promote positive feelings of affiliation”
(de Ruyter, et al., 2001, p. 283).

More recently, Cater and Zabkar (2009) adapted Geyskens et al.‟s (1996)
conceptualization of commitment. Though, they expanded Geyskens et al.‟s
(1996) operationalization and hypothesized affective, calculative, and normative
commitment as mediating variables within their model. For clarity, the authors
concentrated on B2B services provider-customer relationships as research setting
to investigate the effects of trust, satisfaction, and social bonds on affective,
calculative, and normative commitment. In turn, they examined the effects of
these three types of commitment on loyalty, a relational outcome. In favor, Cater
and Zabkar (2009) defined normative commitment as a moral “attachment due to
felt obligations” (p. 786). The authors‟ results provide evidence that only affective
commitment is positively influenced by all three antecedents and, in turn, solely
affects loyalty. Furthermore, the results show that satisfaction is the sole
antecedent which influences normative and calculative commitment, in fact in a
negative direction. As significant results document, affective commitment also
fosters normative commitment (Cater & Zabkar, 2009). However, due to the lack
of significant results, Cater and Zabkar‟s (2009) study do not support the claim of
previous studies (e.g., Geyskens et al., 1996; Gounaris, 2005 and de Ruyter at al.,
2001), which indicate that trust negatively affects calculative commitment.
Indeed, it “seems that trust fulfills a different role in professional business
21 4. Further Aspects Concerning Trust and Commitment in Relationship Marketing

services compared to business products” (Cater & Zabkar, 2009, p. 793), which
might explain these inconsistencies. Moreover, the
results of this study thus confirm the dominant role of affective
commitment and the nonsignificant role of calculative and normative
commitment in marketing relationships. This provides additional support
for the body of empirical literature on commitment in marketing
relationships that have all included affective commitment (in most cases
implicitly measured with a global commitment scale) (Cater & Zabkar,
2009, p. 793).

4. Further Aspects Concerning Trust and Commitment in

Relationship Marketing

4.1. Precursors and Consequences of Trust and Commitment

In 1993, Moorman, Deshpandé, and Zaltman extensively examined possible
antecedents of trust in B2B market research relationships. Their comprehensive
research has included “individual, interpersonal, organizational,
interorganizational/interdepartmental, and project factors” (Moorman, et al., 1993,
p. 81) as possible trust affecting constructs. Moorman et al.‟s (1993) findings
demonstrate that “the interpersonal factors are the most predictive of trust” (p.
81). More precisely, researcher‟s perceived integrity, willingness to reduce
research uncertainty, and confidentiality are the most important predictors of trust
(Moorman, et al., 1993, p. 93). Thus, “trust may be more a function of
interpersonal factors than of individual factors” (Moorman, et al., 1993, p. 93). In
general, the authors provide evidence “that the effects of various characteristics on
trust do not generally change across different types of research relationships”
(Moorman, et al., 1993, p. 95). This stability and generalizability also implies that
their conceptualizations “may be applicable to other information-based
relationships and perhaps to other relationships more generally” (Moorman, et al.,
1993, p. 95).

In a more recent study Palmatier, Dant, Grewal, and Evans (2006) “systematically
review[ed] and analyze[d] the literature on relational mediators in a meta-analytic
framework” (p. 137). In doing so, the authors reinforced the mediating role of
22 4. Further Aspects Concerning Trust and Commitment in Relationship Marketing

trust and commitment between customer-focused, seller-focused as well as dyadic

antecedents and relationship marketing effectiveness as all-embracing construct of
several outcomes (Palmatier, et al., 2006, p. 137). Nevertheless, the relationship
between trust and commitment has not been in the focus of this study. Indeed,
Palmatier et al. (2006) emphasized important precursors of, and outcomes
influenced by both constructs. According to the authors‟ findings relationship
investment has a minimal impact on commitment, whereas relationship benefits
have the greatest effect on commitment. Dependence also has a great impact on
commitment, but a limited on trust. Likewise, similarity has a greater effect on
commitment than on trust. In addition, interaction frequency influences trust more
than any of the other three mediators (Palmatier, et al., 2006). To turn to the
outcomes, Palmatier et al. (2006) detected that commitment has the greatest effect
on customer loyalty, while trust “is most critical for cooperation compared with
the other mediators” (p. 249). Furthermore, the investigations of the moderators‟
effects within the causal model lead, inter alia, to some managerial implications.
In fact, commitment has a stronger impact on the expectation of continuity in
consumer than in business markets.

Furthermore, consumers‟ perceived relationship investment has been in the focus

of De Wulf, Odekerken-Schröder, and Iacobucci‟s (2001) study, in which the
authors analyzed retailer-consumer relationships of a multi-country and multi-
industry sample. The study‟s results confirmed a positive effect of consumer
perceived relationship investment on relationship quality. Thereby, the authors
conceptualized the latter as a global measure composed of three dimensions,
namely trust, commitment, and satisfaction. In turn, De Wulf et al. (2001) found a
positive impact of relationship quality upon the level of behavior loyalty.
However, results also indicate that higher product category involvement as well as
higher consumer relationship proneness boosts the effect of perceived relationship
investment on relationship quality. But how can marketing practitioners increase
consumers‟ perception of relationship investment? For solving this objective, De
Wulf et al. (2001) examined the effects of several relationship marketing tactics
on perceived relationship investment. For instance, findings suggest that
“preferential treatment is less valued by the consumer” (De Wulf, et al., 2001, p.
46). In contrast, “interpersonal communication proved to be a dominant
23 4. Further Aspects Concerning Trust and Commitment in Relationship Marketing

determinant of perceived relationship investment (…), an observation that is

sensible given that relationships are inherently social” (De Wulf, et al., 2001, p.

4.2. Further Aspects

Trust and commitment in the process of relationship development. In 1987,
Dwyer, Schurr and Oh introduced first ideas of the following research stream in
relationship marketing (vide supra). In their study, the authors emphasized the
necessity for differentiating discrete transaction and relational exchanges. Hence,
Dwyer et al. (1987) focused their investigations on long-term relationships and
conceptualized a framework which structures the process of relationship
development in phases. Moreover, the authors pointed out that trust, commitment,
and disengagement are critical constructs in the process of relationship
development (Dwyer, et al., 1987, p. 22). They highlighted the importance of
trust, as they conceptualized this construct as a rudiment of the subprocess
“expectations development” within the phases of exploration and expansion
(Dwyer, et al., 1987, p. 18). Consequently, after the phases of exploration and
expansions it follows commitment, as a phase, in the relationship development
process conceptualized by Dwyer et al. (1987). Thus, the importance of
commitment within the relationship development process is highlighted due to the
fact that it is structured as a separate phase.

This results have partly been reinforced by Verhoef, Franses, and Hoekstra
(2002). The authors analyzed archival and survey data of B2C services provider-
customer relationships to investigate the moderating effect of relationship age (cf.
Grayson & Ambler, 1999). Verhoef et al. (2002) have not found evidence for a
time-dependent effect of trust in this B2C environment, in contrast to Grayson and
Ambler (1999), who proved such an effect in a B2B context. “With respect to the
number of services purchased, a moderating effect of relationship age on the
effect of affective commitment, calculative commitment, and satisfaction is
found.” (Verhoef, et al., 2002, p. 211). Thus, investments in affective commitment
in all relationship phases may be worthwhile, especially in later phases of the
relationship (Verhoef, et al., 2002, p. 212).
24 4. Further Aspects Concerning Trust and Commitment in Relationship Marketing

General environmental influences. As China or the Chinese market,

respectively, becomes more and more important, Luo, Hsu, and Liu (2008)
contributed a study focusing on institutional environments in this state. The
authors examined the moderating roles of channel as well as governmental
networking on the effects within the customer orientation-customer
trust/commitment-firm performance (CTP) causal chain (Luo et al., 2008, p.202).
Results, based on data covering a business-to-business and business-to-consumer
context, provide evidence for positive linear moderating effects of channel
networking. Indeed, the moderating effects of governmental networking is most
valuable for a firm at a moderate rather than a high or low level (Luo, et al., 2008,
p. 210). Nevertheless, Luo et al.‟s (2008) findings “show that customer orientation
indirectly boosts firm performance in China through the mediator of
trust/commitment” (p. 210). To sum up, the authors‟ findings indicate that on the
one hand stronger channel relationships increases trust and commitment and, on
the other hand, “that governmental networking may not always be functional and
advantageous for a firm” (Luo, et al., 2008, p. 211).

Further key constructs of relationship marketing. However, another

contribution of Palmatier et al.‟s (2006) meta-analysis (vide supra) has been the
initiation for further research. As Palmatier et al. (2006) revealed, the direct effect
of relationship marketing investments on objective performance outcomes is
greater than the effect mediated by trust and commitment. Consequently
Palmatier, Jarvis, Bechkoff, and Kardes (2009) explored the role of gratitude as
possible further mediator (p. 1). For clarity, the authors conceptualized a model
with trust, commitment, and two sub-constructs of gratitude (i.e., feelings of
gratitude and gratitude-based reciprocal behaviors) being mediators between
relationship investments and seller performance outcomes (e.g., customer
purchase intentions, share of wallet, sales revenue, sales growth). But, within this
model a direct effect of trust on any outcome measure has not been hypothesized
(Palmatier, et al., 2009, p. 5). For testing the proposed hypotheses Palmatier et al.
(2009) conducted two studies, which covered a B2C as well as a B2B setting to
make results generalizable (Palmatier, et al., 2009, p. 7). Results on the one hand
provide evidence for a mediating effect of customer gratitude on seller
performance which “remains greater than the effect of commitment on these same
25 5. Discussion

outcomes” (Palmatier, et al., 2009, p. 13). On the other hand, results of the
replication confirm the positive impact of trust upon the level of commitment
(Palmatier, et al., 2009, p. 12). “In addition to its mediating role, gratitude
increases a customer‟s trust in the seller, both strengthening the quality of the
relationship and positively affecting seller outcomes through trust‟s influence on
performance-enhancing commitment.” (Palmatier, et al., 2009, p. 13). Thus,
relationship marketing effectiveness can be increased by leveraging gratitude.

5. Discussion

In conclusion, a lot of empirical research proved the positive and direct impact of
trust upon the level of commitment. All the research has covered a wide spectrum
of settings, which contributed to the generalization of this association.
Accordingly, this generalization is transferable to buyer-seller relationships in a
business-to-business environment. Specifically, empirical evidence has been
found on the one hand for services (Caceres & Paparoidamis, 2007; Farrelly &
Quester, 2003; Grayson & Ambler, 1999; Keh & Xie, 2009; Moorman et al.,
1992; Tellefsen & Thomas, 2005) and on the other for products (Andaleeb, 1996;
Kingshott & Pecotich, 2007; Morgan & Hunt, 1994; Palmatier et al., 2007) as
core of these relationships. Additionally, the trust-commitment link in the product
case has even been proved in an international context (Barnes et al., 2010;
Leonidou et al., 2008). Moreover, empirical findings also indicate the
generalizability of the Commitment-Trust Theory (Morgan & Hunt, 1994) to
business-to-consumer relationships in service industries (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010;
Eastlick et al., 2006; Garbarino & Johnson, 1999).

As the exception proves the rule, Gao et al. (2005) verified a positive effect of
commitment on trust for B2B buyer-supplier dyads. For clarity, the authors
considered both sides of the exchange dyad within their conceptual model and
detected that buyer perceived supplier commitment fosters buyer‟s trust in the
supplier (Gao, et al., 2005). Furthermore, Coote et al.‟s (2003) findings show
some inconsistencies. More specifically, for non-Western industrial marketing
relationships (i.e., between Chinese-owned businesses in a regional Asia-pacific
country) the authors have not found significant results neither for the positive and
direct effect of trust on commitment nor for the mediating role of trust. However,
26 5. Discussion

the authors have qualified their inconsistent results by providing some

explanations (i.e., research setting and context) (Coote, et al., 2003). Only an
indirect impact of trust on commitment in a B2B context has been found for the
non-profit sector (MacMillan, et al., 2005) as well as for internal sales manager-
salesperson relationships (Brashear, et al., 2003).

Moreover, several studies have emphasized the necessity of a more differentiated

view of trust and commitment. Consequently, Cater and Zabkar (2009)
subclassified commitment and used the three dimensions of this construct, namely
affective, calculative, and normative commitment, for operationalization.
Empirical evidence for a positive and direct association between trust and
affective commitment explicitly is provided for a B2B environment in the
automobile industry (Geyskens, et al., 1996), service industries (Cater & Zabkar
2009; Gounaris, 2005), and high technology markets (de Ruyter, et al., 2001). All
except Cater and Zabkar (2009) also found a negative impact of trust upon the
level of calculative commitment. Indeed, Cater and Zabkar (2009) solely
operationalized normative commitment as one sub-construct of commitment,
though the authors have not found a significant effect of trust on normative
commitment. As a result, Cater and Zabkar (2009) pointed out “that out of the
three components of commitment affective commitment is on average the main
motivator for continuing the relationship” (p. 791). Therefore, to create closeness
within the relationship of two channel partners, managers should concentrate on
increasing affective commitment instead of calculative or normative commitment,
which again stresses the importance of trust, a major precursor of affective
commitment (Geyskens, et al., 1996).

Likewise, Ganesan (1994) operationalized trust by using its two major dimensions
credibility and benevolence. The author‟s results show that in a B2B setting only
credibility but not benevolence enhances long-term orientation or commitment,
respectively. Moreover, Ganesan and Hess (1997) expanded this
operationalization and additionally distinguished between the levels (i.e.,
organizational and interpersonal) of trust. In line, Grayson and Johnson (2005)
argued that in a B2C setting operationalizing trust as having an affective and a
cognitive dimension is advisable because both sub-constructs may have different
precursors and outcomes.
27 5. Discussion

As the key role of trust and commitment in relationship marketing is well

established (e.g., Morgan & Hunt, 1994), it becomes clear that practitioners
should concentrate on enhancing both constructs in order to develop successful
and healthy relationships. But what benefits in detail result out of trust and
commitment? However, since trust is the major determinant of commitment (e.g.,
Morgan & Hunt, 1994), the consequences of commitment indicate the advantages
of harmonious relationships. In B2C markets healthy relationships lead to ongoing
customer purchase intentions (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010; Eastlick et al., 2006;
Garbarino & Johnson, 1999; Palmatier et al., 2006; Palmatier et al., 2009; Verhoef
et al., 2002), customer referrals (Palmatier et al., 2006; Verhoef et al., 2002), and
loyalty (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010; De Wulf et al., 2001; Palmatier et al., 2006).
The latter also is an outcome of harmonious relationships in B2B settings
(Caceres Paparoidamis, 2007; Cater & Zabkar, 2009; de Ruyter et al., 2001).
Further important positive outcomes in B2B environments are higher
effectiveness (Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Palmatier et al., 2009; Perry et al., 2004),
greater performance (Palmatier et al., 2006; Palmatier et al., 2007; Palmatier et al.,
2009), and a higher amount of cooperation (Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Palmatier et
al., 2006; Palmatier et al., 2007). Nevertheless, the development of trust remains
as a dominant source of successful and healthy relationships. Hence, to benefit
from prior relationship outcomes, for practitioners it is important to know how to
build trustful relationships. Thus, the identification of main precursors of trust
should be used to derive managerial implications and to adopt an effective
strategy (Cater & Zabkar, 2009). Consequently, on B2C markets a high quality of
the product (Johnson & Grayson, 2005) or service (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010),
respectively, is important to win trustworthy customers. However, a major
precursor of trust is satisfaction not even on B2C markets (Aurier & N‟Goala,
2010; Garbarino & Johnson, 1999; Johnson & Grayson, 2005) but also in B2B
environments (Caceres & Paparoidamis, 2007; Ganesan, 1994; Geyskens et al.,
1999; Leonidou et al., 2008). In a B2B context relationships usually are direct and
intensive channel dyads. Therefore, similarity and shared values, respectively, are
important to create satisfaction and primarily trust (Brashear et al., 2003; Coote et
al., 2003; MacMillan et al., 2005; Morgan & Hunt, 1994; Palmatier et al., 2006).
For example, Brashear et al. (2003) stressed “that shared values should be a key
focus of trust building in this context” (p. 197). To ensure that channel partners
28 5. Discussion

share values, expectations, and common goals communication between both dyad
sides is important. Hence, appropriate and regular communication facilitates trust
(Coote et al., 2003; de Ruyter et al., 2001; Geyskens et al., 1998; MacMillan et
al., 2005; Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Palmatier et al., 2006). For instance, normally
conflict erodes trust within a channel relationship (Coote et al., 2003; Geyskens et
al., 1998; Leonidou et al., 2008), but when the degree and the quality of the
communication between the channel partners is high, the experience of solved
problems enhances trust (Morgan & Hunt, 1994). Moreover, relationship
investments strengthen trust (De Wulf et al., 2001; Ganesan, 1994; Palmatier et
al., 2006; Palmatier et al., 2007; Palmatier et al., 2009), in fact that of both dyad
sides. On the one hand, relationship investments increase the investor‟s
interdependence, which generates relevance for the existence of trust (Kumar et
al., 1995). Thus, “it is an intention to become more deeply involved in the
relationship through investments of capital and effort” (Kumar, et al., 1995, p.
351). On the other hand, higher total interdependence decreases the investor‟s
incentive to engage in opportunism. This is perceived by the counterpart of the
dyad and thus increases the channel partner‟s trust in the investor (Barnes et al.,
2010; Kumar et al., 1995; MacMillan et al., 2005; Morgan and Hunt, 1994;
Palmatier et al., 2006; Palmatier et al., 2007). In contrast, if relationship
investments cause interdependence asymmetry within a dyad, the investor‟s trust
will decrease because the probability that the counterpart behaves
opportunistically will increase (Kumar et al., 1995; Palmatier et al., 2007).
“Hence, though high, symmetric interdependence does not directly create trust or
commitment, it does create an intrachannel environment in which trust and
commitment can be cultivated and flourish because of the convergence of the
partners‟ interests.” (Kumar, et al., 1995, p. 350). However, investments of time,
effort, and capital remain as an efficient instrument to signal the willingness and
credibility to sustain a relationship (Gao et al., 2005; Kumar et al., 1995;
Leonidou et al., 2008;).

Moreover, as Dwyer et al. structured relationship development into phases, they

pointed out that the development of trust and commitment is related to different
time horizons. For this reason, from a managerial perspective it is important to
29 5. Discussion

know the time orientation of customers for the selection and use of marketing
tools, corresponding to the time characteristics (Ganesan, 1994).

Furthermore, interpersonal relationships are stronger and more efficient than

organizational relationships (Barnes et al., 2010; Cater & Zabkar, 2009; Moorman
et al., 1993; Palmatier et al., 2006; Tellefsen & Thomas, 2005). “Therefore, the
management of interpersonal relationships is important for the development of a
marketing relationship.” (Cater & Zabkar, 2009, p. 794). For instance, this
highlights the value of “strong business friendships” (Cater & Zabkar, 2009, p.
794) and implies that representatives of service firms, besides product knowledge
and technical skills, should also hold good interpersonal skills (Tellefsen &
Thomas, 2005). Moreover, Barnes et al. (2010) indicated that frequent personal
visits could be a supporting instrument in developing strong relational ties with a
Chinese channel partner. Additionally, they stressed “the crucial role of carefully
selecting appropriate partners in international business” (Barnes, et al., 2010, p.

Luo et al. (2008) argued that in China also governmental networking on a

moderate level is relevant for long-term relationship success, which demonstrates
that, depending on the environmental setting, further general environmental
aspects might be important to consider.

Finally, “other variables could be considered to be as important as trust” (Coote,

et al., 2003, p. 602). Cater and Zabkar (2009), for example, showed that in
professional service relationships in B2B markets satisfaction is a further
important determinant of commitment. The same result was detected by Brashear
et al. (2003) for internal sales manager-salesperson relationships in a B2B context.
And even the key mediating role of trust and commitment in long-term
relationships may be augmented by further constructs in specific environments.
Palmatier et al. (2006) detected that not all of the antecedents‟ impact on
outcomes is mediated by trust and commitment. Consequently, Palmatier et al.
(2009) argued and empirically proved that gratitude in a B2B as well as in a B2C
context additionally mediates the effect of antecedents on outcomes.
30 Appendix A

Appendix A

Figure 1: The KMV Model of Relationship Marketing (Morgan & Hunt, 1994)

Appendix B

Table 1: Overview of included studies

Studies confirming: Andaleeb (1996); Aurier & N‟Goala (2010); Barnes et

trust supports al. (2010); Caceres & Paparoidamis (2007); Eastlick et
commitment (Morgan al. (2006); Farrelly & Quester (2003); Ganesan & Hess
& Hunt, 1994) (1997); Garbarino & Johnson (1999); Geyskens et al.
(1998); Geyskens et al. (1999); Grayson & Ambler
(1999); Keh & Xie (2009); Kingshott & Pecotich
(2007); Leonidou et al. (2008); Moorman et al. (1992);
Morgan & Hunt (1994); Palmatier et al. (2007); Perry et
al. (2004); Tellefsen & Thomas (2005)

Studies inconsistent Brashear et al. (2003); Cater & Zabkar (2009); Coote et
to (Morgan & Hunt, al. (2003); de Ruyter et al. (2001); Ganesan (1994); Gao
1994) et al. (2005); Geyskens et al. (1996); Gounaris (2005);
MacMillan et al. (2005)

Studies with other De Wulf et al. (2001); Dwyer et al. (1987); Johnson &
focus of investigations Grayson (2005); Kumar et al. (1995); Luo et al. (2008);
Moorman et al. (1993); Palmatier et al. (2006);
Palmatier et al. (2009); Verhoef et al. (2002)
31 Appendix B

Table 2: Findings consistent: Trust supports Commitment (Morgan and Hunt, 1994)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
[journal; vhb ranking; of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Impact factor; times Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
cited (see ISI WoK)] (*=sign. result; (*=sign. result;
n.s.= no sign. result) n.s.= no sign. result)
Moorman et al. (1992) Commitment (C) Trust (T): none T: utilization of market B2B; Sample of User Trust in An.: early study, first
[JMR;A+;3.01;471] mediates the mentioned; research information providers and users of Researcher (T)  significant result for:
relationship between C: T (+)*, perceived (+)n.s., perceived market research Commitment to T+C;
antecedents and quality of interactions quality of interactions information (number of relationship (C); Im.: - T supports C, - T
utilization of market (+)*, researcher (+)*, C (+)*, researcher usable respondents:779 ; specific research acts as a determinant of
research information; involvement in involvement in response rate:45.3%); 3 setting; moderating relationship processes, -
moderating effects of research activities research activities (+)*; user groups: marketing effects; C reduces researcher‟s
individual differences (+)n.s.; C: utilization of market managers, marketing incentive to perform and
and organizational research information researchers, encourage a lack of
differences; (+)n.s.; nonmarketing managers; consistency in researcher
Morgan & Hunt (1994) Trust (T) & T: Shared Values T: Cooperation (+)*, B2B; Sample (number of Commitment-Trust Im.: - identifying T & C
[JM;A+;3.78;1743] Commitment (C) = (+)*, Communication Functional Conflict usable respondents:204 ; Theory of Relationship is critical to the study
key mediating (+)*, Opportunistic (+)*, Uncertainty (-)*, response rate:14.6%) of Marketing; KMV and management of
constructs of Behavior (-)*; C (+)*; national automobile tire model; relationship marketing,
relationship C: Shared Values C: Cooperation (+)*, retailers within the - T & C are key to
marketing; T (+)*, Relationship Propensity to Leave (- National Tire Dealers understanding the
determinant of C; Benefits (+)n.s., )*, Acquiescence (+)*; and Retreaters development process;
Relationship Association in the US;
Termination Costs
(+)*, T (+)*;
32 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Andaleeb (1996) Trust (T) determinant T: none mentioned; T: Satisfaction (+)*, C B2B; experimental Separate and joint An.: T and dependence
[JR;A;4.57;80 in of Commitment (C); C: T (+)*, (+)*; study; Sample of sales effects of T and will remain central to
ebsco] no mediating Dependence (+)*; C: none mentioned; and purchasing dependence on C and explain exchange
variables; interaction managers, who had satisfaction, strong relationships and
effect of T and considerable experience influence of T on C and behaviors;
dependence on C ; in negotiating satisfaction; Im.: - effective
transactions with other management of exchange
organizations (number of relationships requires
usable respondents: 72); organizations to focus on
contrived manufacturer building and managing T
(supplier)-distributor along with power, - T as
(buyer) relationship; central concern for
success of long-term
Ganesan & Hess Trust (T) and T: none mentioned; T: C (+)*; B2B; Mail survey multidimensional view An.: interpersonal trust
(1997) especially C: T [interpersonal C: none mentioned; (number of usable of trust (cf. Ganesan, has a different effect on
[ML;B;0.56;39 in Commitment (C) are benevolence (+)n.s., respedents:124 ; 1994), distinction commitment compared to
ebsco] mediators between interpersonal response rate:83%) of among the different organizational trust;
several antecedents credibility (+)*, retail buyers from dimensions (credibility, Im.: - multidimensional
and outcomes, which organizational department store chains benevolence) and view of T  more
are partly not benevolence (+)*, with annual sales ranging levels (interpersonal, differentiated view of T,
mentioned; organizational from $200-800, five organizational) of trust; - salesreps should be
credibility (+)n.s.]; retailing firms; credible through superior
job performance, - firms
should make short-term
sacrifices to engender
benevolence based on T;
33 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Geyskens et al.(1998) Trust (T) as a key T: Environmental T: Satisfaction (+)*, B2B & B2C; Meta- Contribution of some An.: 0= no consensus on
[IJRM;A; 1.87;126] mediator between uncertainty (-)*, Own LtO (+)*; analysis which examines generalizations about T causality; Commitment
antecedents and dependence (0)*, LtO: none mentioned; the role of T in in marketing channels: (C) = Long-term
outcomes; Long-term Partner‟s coercive marketing channel mediating role of T, T orientation (LtO) -
Orientation (LtO) power use (-)*, relationships; 26 is central to synonyms;
[=Commitment (C)] Communication (+)*, independent samples relationship marketing; Im.: - building T is an
as a relationship Econ. outcomes (+)*; reported in 23 articles no evidence for the important organizational
outcome of T; C: T (+)*, (subjects in total: 4548) relevance of goal (a very effective
Environmental investigations such as way to increase
uncertainty (-)*, Own buyer vs. seller side, satisfaction & LtO), -
dependence (0)*, and B2B vs. B2C, or managerial focus on
Partner‟s coercive operationalization of sentiments, actions, and
power use (-)*, the 2 facets of T in economic outcomes may
Communication (+)*, isolation or in one be most effective;
Econ. outcomes (+)*; global measure;
Garbarino & Johnson H:Trust (T) & H: T: Component H: T: C (+), future B2C; Survey (number of distinction between Im.: - differences in the
(1999) Commitment (C) are attitudes [(actor intensions (+)*; usable respondents:401 ; customers with high level of T & C for low
[JM;A+;3.78;399] mediators between satisfaction (+)*, C: future intensions response rate: 40%) of (H) and low (L) and high relational
component attitudes actor familiarity (+)*, (+)*; the customers of a relational orientations, customers, - L:
and future intentions; play attitudes (+)*, nonprofit New York off- T+C and T & transactional marketing
C mediator between theater attitudes L: T & C: none Broadway repertory C=mediators only for programs with focus on
T & future intentions; (+)n.s.]; theater company high relational satisfaction more
C: T (+)*,Component customers (H); effective, - H:
L: T & C outcomes attitudes [(actor Relationship marketing
of mediator overall satisfaction (+)n.s., should focus on
satisfaction; actor familiarity (+)*, maintaining and building
play attitudes (+)*, T & C, not satisfaction;
theater attitudes

L:T & C: overall

satisfaction (+)*;
34 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Geyskens et al. (1999) Trust (T) mediator T: conflict (-)*, T: C (+)*; B2B; Meta- analysis; 107 Meta-analysis (Type An.: T & C as outcomes
[JMR;A+;3.01;150] between conflict as noneconomic C : none mentioned; independent samples II), generalization of of marketing
well as noneconomic satisfaction (+)*; reported in 93 studies as constructs, relationships;
satisfaction and C: T (+)* basis of meta-analysis, accumulation of Im.: - phases of
commitment (C); all relationships included constructs into development: conflict
C final outcome; data from at least two overarching constructs; and satisfaction will
samples (Number of develop first, T in the
Respondents (N)= 121- medium term and C only
3550), average total N in the long term;
per relationship of 1277)
Grayson & Ambler Several relational T: none mentioned; T: C (+)*, involvement B2B; Relationships Replication and Im.: - T&C will not
(1999) factors [such as Trust Commitment (C): T (+)*, interaction (+)*, between advertising extension of Moorman always have a simple and
[JMR;A+;3.01;150] (T)] as principal (+)*, perceived advertising use (only in agencies and their et al. (1992); long-term positive effect on client‟s
antecedents to quality of user- short relationship: +) clients, view of relationships have a use of providers‟
positive relational provider interactions use of marketing marketing managers dark side that dampens services, - dynamics of
outcomes; (+)*, providers services (+)n.s., rising (number of usable the influence of T; shorter relationships are
furthermore involvement (+)*, expectations (+)n.s., respondents:200 ; direct and indirect different than those of
mediating roles of perceived opportunism (+)n.s., response rate:27%) of its impact of T on C (T&C longer relationships, - T
relational dynamics opportunism (-)n.s., loss of objectivity relationship with mediation: T + is important in earlier
constructs perceived loss of (+)n.s.; advertising agency in the rising expectations and later phases of
(opportunism, objectivity (-)n.s., C: use of marketing United Kingdom; + C); relationship;
expectations, etc.) rising expectations (- services (+)n.s.;
and moderating role )n.s.;
of long-term
(relationship length);
35 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Farrelly & Quester (Sponsor) Trust (T) (Sponsor) T: Sponsor (Sponsor) T: (Sponsor) B2B; Questionnaire was Specific context: Im.: - invest additional
(2003) mediator between MO (+)*, Property C (+)*; completed from both sponsorship resources critical to
[EJM;C;0.76;55 in Sponsor Market MO (+)* (as (Sponsor) C: none sides of protected relationships; potential leveraging relationship,
googlescholar] Orientation (MO), perceived by mentioned; sponsorships; effect of MO on T & C; - raise level of market
Property MO (as Sponsor); Properties: Australian only T mediator; orientation in order to
perceived by (Sponsor) C: Sponsor Football League (AFL) – foster T & C, - greater C
Sponsor) and MO (+)*, Property local clubs and League, may lead one to
(Sponsor) MO (+) as perceived Sponsors: protected underestimate partner‟s
Commitment (C); by Sponsor)n.s., sponsors (46 dyads effort (danger);
(Sponsor) T (+)*; completed their
questionnaire; number of
usable respondents: 92)
Perry et al. (2004) Commitment (C) T: none mentioned; T: C (+)*; B2B; High-tech firms additionally An.: Limited, specific
[JBR;B;1.29;7] mediates relationship C: T (+), termination C: Perceived Alliance listed in Ward‟s Business moderating role of T, T relationship
between Trust (T) penalties (+)*, Effectiveness (+)*; Directory of US Private antecedent of C and environment: Horizontal
and Effectiveness; T technological and Public Companies moderator; interaction Strategic Alliances
moderator between uncertainty (-)*; (number of usable effects of T & (HSA) in high-
termination penalties respondents: 106 ; termination penalties, T technology industries;
& C as well as response rate: 10%) & technological Im.: - in HAS the
between uncertainty, C & inclusion of contractual
technological termination penalties; safeguards is wise, - T
uncertainty & C; supports C and, in turn,
C fosters effectiveness;
36 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Tellefsen & Thomas Effects of several PT & OT: none PT: PC (+)*; B2B; service industry; Differentiation of C in Im.: - coordinate efforts
(2005) antecedents on two mentioned, T as OT: OC (+)*: data were collected from two types of constructs: at both personal and
[IMM;C;1.33;17] types of Commitment antecedent; PC: relational exchange market research PC & OC; organizational levels, -
(C) and, in turn on PC: PT (+)*, (+)*; managers about their differentiation of T in include personal levels of
relational exchange; personal expertise OC: relational relationships with PT & OT; use of analysis in business
differentiation of C in (+)n.s., personal exchange (+)*; research suppliers, relational exchange as service models, - role of
personal commitment power (+)n.s., respondents worked in relationship outcome; individuals important in
(PC) & likeability (+)*, the U.S. for business services, - train
organizational personal dependence manufacturing, service, representatives in
commitment (OC); (+)*, personal or distribution product knowledge,
differentiation of continuity (+)*; companies, (number of technical skills AND
Trust (T) in personal OC: OT (+)*, service usable respondents: 145 ; interpersonal skills, -
trust (PT) & performance (+)n.s., response rate: 33%); accurate in official
organizational trust delivery performance communications, -
(OT); (+)n.s., cost dependence important in
performance (+)*, relationships;
dependence (+)*,
continuity (+)*;
Eastlick et al. (2006) Trust in a services e- T: services e-tailer T: C (+)*; B2C; Survey of a Application of B2B An.: Online B2C market;
[JBR;B;1.29;11] tailer (T) mediates reputation (+)*, C: purchase intent random sample of relationship theories to Im.: - privacy concerns
relationship between privacy concerns (-)*; toward a services e- Internet subscribers online B2C strongly and negatively
services e-tailer C: T (+)*; tailer (+)*; consisting of 2000 U.S. relationships (including predict trust in a services
reputation & privacy households, stratified by necessary modification e-tailer, - with
concerns and state (number of usable with respect to privacy modifications B2B
commitment toward a respondents: 477; concerns, T, and C), theories con be applied
service e-tailer (C); C response rate: 25.4%); importance of T & C in to online B2C
mediator between T B2C relationships in an relationships, -T&C both
and purchase intent online services context; are critical elements of
toward a services e- exchange relationships;
37 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Caceres & Trust (T) & T: Relationship T: C (+)*, Loyalty B2B; Sample consisted Integration of concepts An.: B2B setting in a
Paparoidamis (2007) Commitment (C) Satisfaction (+)* (+)*; of companies that are of service/product service industry (adv.
[EJM;C;0.76;6] mediators between [fostered by service C: Loyalty (+)*; clients of advertising quality, relationship ag.);
Relationship quality = technical & agencies in a range of satisfaction, T & C in a Im.: - invest in
Satisfaction and functional Quality]; media advertising, 774 business loyalty model; relationships based on T
Loyalty; C mediator C: Relationship companies were T & C as sub- & C, - focus efforts on
between Trust and Satisfaction (+)*, randomly selected from constructs of managing relationship
Loyalty; Trust (+)*; an advertising directory relationship quality; quality (T,C,relationship
in the European country satisfaction) because of
(number of usable its direct influence on
respondents: 234 loyalty;
Kingshott & Pecotich Trust (T) mediator T: psychological T : C (+)* ; B2B; distributor firms approach to Morgan Im.: - contract violations
(2007) between antecedents contracts (PC) (+)*, C: none mentioned; within the motorized and Hunt‟s (1994) occur and have a strong
[EJM;C;0.76;3] and Commitment (C); PC violations (-)* ; industries (number of KMV model with the negative impact on trust
C : PC (+)*, T (+)*, usable respondents: 343 ; help of social exchange  effects of violations
PC violations (-)n.s.; response rate:23%), theory, social exchange should be considered
generated from theory perspective; cautiously;
commercial database; direct & indirect effects
supplier-distributor of PC & PC violations
relationships; upon the level of T &
38 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Palmatier et al. (2007) Commitment-Trust T: Customer T: Sales growth B2B; Longitudinal Comparative An.: Analysis of five
[JM;A+;3.78;27] Perspective: Relationship Specific (+)n.s., overall survey of B2B longitudinal analysis of different perspectives:
(customer) Trust (T) Investments (RSI) financial performance relationships (cover 4 theoretical Commitment-Trust,
& (customer) (+)*, Seller RSIs (+)n.s., cooperation various products) perspectives of Dependence, Transaction
Commitment (C) (+)*, Seller (+)*, conflict (-)*, between company interorganizational Cost Economics,
mediators between opportunistic C(+)*; (seller) and its local relationship Relational Norms, RBV
antecedents and behaviors (-)*, C: Sales growth (+)*, distributor (customer), performance; Perspective;
outcomes, C mediator Interdependence overall financial (number of usable additionally moderator Im.: - increase T & C, -
between T and (+)n.s., Dependence performance (+)*, respondents in all three effect of environmental promote investments by
outcomes; market asymmetry (-)n.s., cooperation (+)*, years: 396 ; response dynamism and market both partners to improve
dynamics moderate Relational norms conflict (-)*; rate: 24%); diversity on impact of the efficacy and
effects of T & C on (+)*, Communication T & C on outcomes; effectiveness of the
outcomes ; (+)*; T,C, and RSI found to interaction, - provide
C: T (+)*, Customer be the most important incentives to push
RSIs (+)n.s., mediators in customers to make RSIs;
Interdependence (+)*, interorganizational
Dependence relationships;
asymmetry (-)n.s.,
Relational norms
(+)*, Communication
Leonidou et al. (2008) Effects of sources of T: Conflict (-)*, T: C (+)*; B2B; cross-border Exercised power as a Im.: - define common
[IMM;C;1.33;5] power exercised on Satisfaction (+)*; C: none mentioned; industrial buyer-seller driver of T & C; goals and enhance
Trust (T) & C: T(+)*; relationships; conflict and satisfaction communication, - invest
Commitment (C); international business mediators between time, resources and effort
relationships between exporter-importer sources of power to the relationship, -
power and T relationships; Producers exercised and T; C as share experiences,
mediated by conflict of industrial goods in the relational outcome; understand each other‟s
and satisfaction; U.S., which were goals and predict one
currently exporting their another‟s behavior, -
goods abroad (number of carefully analyze the
usable respondents: 151); nature of power exerted;
39 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Keh & Xie (2009) Customer T: Corporate T: C (+)*, PI (+)*, PP B2B; customer-service Customer Identification An.: both, conceptual
[IMM;C;1.33;0] Commitment (C) Reputation (+)*; (+)n.s., IDENT (+)*; firm relationships; as major determinant of and rival model were
mediates the C: T (+)*, IDENT C: PP (+)*, PI (+)*; customers of three C, T still important used for estimating
relationship between (+)*; Chinese companies in precursor of C but not results; partly mediation
Customer Trust (T), different B2B service the key one in this of C between T & PI;
Customer industries and different study; Corporate Im.: - T is fundamental
Identification sizes (number of usable Reputation as to buying-selling
(IDENT) and respondents: 351 ; antecedent; relationships, while
Purchase Intention response rate: 35.2%) Willingness to pay a IDENT is more effective
(PI), Price Premium price premium and to retailing customers, -
(PP); T mediator continue relationship T major determinant for
between Corporate as outcomes; PI, C for willingness to
Reputation and C, PI; pay higher prices; -
IDENT mediator development of a
between Corporate favorable corporate
Reputation and C ; reputation important,
Aurier & N‟Goala Trust (T) & T: Overall T: C (+)*, relationship B2C; Longitudinal In service industries: C Im.: - T&C play differing
(2010) Commitment (C) key satisfaction (+)*, development [Service research design; study predicts the number of and complementary roles
[JAMS;A;1.58;0] mediators between Service quality(+)*; Usage {depth} (+)*, concerns service service providers in order to maintain and
service evaluations C: T (+)*, Overall Cross-Buying relationships between (retention, exclusivity develop service
(e.g., overall Satisfaction (+)*, {breadth} (+)*]; consumers and a regional vs. polygamy) while T relationships, - T critical
satisfaction) and Service Quality (+)*, C: relationship branch of Credict predicts the number of when the objective of the
patronage behaviors Value (+)*; maintenance [Duration Agricole (bank) in the bank products (cross- firm is to increase short-
(i.e., relationship {length} (+)*, Southwest of France buying) and service term revenues;
maintenance, Exclusivity (+)*]; which covers 135 local usage level;
relationship agencies, [Sample-1: Longitudinal research
development); n=1,721 (Year 1), design; several
Sample-2: n=1,467 (Year constructs similar to
2), Sample-3: n=520 Caceres&Paparoidamis
(common response/non- (2007) (e.g., service
response behavior in quality, satisfaction,
Year 1 + 2)] loyalty);
40 Appendix B

Table 2 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Barnes et al. (2010) Trust (T) mediates T: Opportunism (-)*; T:C (+)*, Satisfaction B2B; Western exporter- T & C being mediator An.: strong regard to
[JIM;B;1.59;0] relationship between C: T (+)*; (+)n.s.; Hong Kong importer between opportunism Chinese setting;
Opportunism and C: Satisfaction (+)* relationships; sample: and long-term Im.: - T crucial for the
Commitment (C); C firms with a Chinese orientation in Western long-term existence of
mediates relationship origin that were actively exporter-Hong Kong relationships in a
between T and involved in importing importer relationships; Chinese context, -
Satisfaction; (number of usable six moderating effects conflict should be
Relationship respondents: 202); (e.g., relationship avoided in a Chinese
initiation has a initiation on setting, - frequent
moderating effect on opportunism-T personal visits are
Opportunism-T relationship); important in a Chinese
relationship; combination of context, - select
extensively examined appropriate partners
constructs; carefully in international
business, - Western firms
need to work hard to
create relational ties;
41 Appendix B

Table 3: Findings divergent, variant or inconsistent to Morgan and Hunt (1994)

Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
[journal; vhb ranking; of Trust and Trust and /Approach / Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Impact factor; times Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
cited (see ISI WoK)] (*=sign. result; (*=sign. result;
n.s.= no sign. result) n.s.= no sign. result)
Ganesan (1994) Trust (T) mediates R: T: specific R: T: LtO (+)p.s.; B2B; Retail buyers (R: Two separate empirical An.: p.s.= partial support
[JM;A+;3.78;747] relationship between investments (+)*, C: none mentioned; number of analyses: Retailer and (support only for the
selective antecedents reputation (+)p.s., V: T: LtO (+)p.s.; respondents:124 ; Vendor perspective; dimension of
and retailer‟s long- experience (+)n.s., C: none mentioned; response rate:83%) [dealt multidimensional credibility); R=Retailer
term orientation satisfaction (+)n.s.; with a wide variety of operationalization of Perspective, V=Vendor
(LtO) [referred to be LtO: satisfaction products] and their trust: credibility and Perspective; Long-term
“commitment”]; (+)*, T[credibility vendors (V: number of benevolence as sub- orientation referred to be
(+)*, benevolence respondents:52 ; dimensions; key roles “commitment”;
(+)n.s.], perception response rate:42%) from of dependence and trust Focused on long-term
of dependence (+)*, 6 regional department (credibility, orientated relationships;
dependence (+)*; store chains with annual benevolence) on long- Retailer (buyer)-vendor
V: T: specific sales ranging from $200- term orientation (seller) relationships;
investments (+)p.s., 800 mio. in 1990; (referred to be Im.: - managerial
reputation (+)n.s., “commitment”); perspective: important to
experience (+)n.s., credibility has a know the time
satisfaction(+)*; significant effect on orientation of customers
LtO: satisfaction LtO, whereas (retailer) for selection
(+)*, T[credibility benevolent do not; and use of marketing
(+)*, benevolence tools with corresponding
(+)n.s.], perception time characteristics, - use
of dependence (+)*, the insight from the
dependence (+)n.s.; analysis to change
customer‟s position
along spectrum of long-
to short-term orientation
42 Appendix B

Table 3 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Geyskens et al. (1996) Trust (T)    T: none mentioned; T: AC (+)*, CC (-)*; B2B; Samples drawn Differentiated view on An.: Two types of
[IJRM;A;1.87;132 in affective commitment AC: total CC & AC : none from lists of automobile commitment and commitment: AC- like to
ebsco] (AC); interdependence (TI) mentioned; dealers, purchased from interdependence (cf. maintain relationship,
Trust (T)  (-)  (+)*, interdependence commercial sources in Kumar et al.), CC- need to maintain
calculative asymmetry (IA) (-)n.s, two countries, the US Introduction and relationship;
commitment (CC); T (+)*; (n=417 ; response definitions of AC and Im.: - channel partners
T moderator between CC: TI (+)*, T (-)*, rate:28%) and the CC, T has a negative should develop closeness
interdependence IA [for the more Netherlands (n=289 ; impact on CC, T through AC instead of
asymmetry and AC; dependent channel response rate:19%) additionally moderator CC, - T is important
partner] (+)*, IA [for between IA & AC; key construct & easy to
the less dependent roles of T & develop
firm] (-)*; interdependence on C
de Ruyter et al. (2001) Trust (T),Affective T: OC [product T: AC (+)*, CC (-)*, B2B; supplier-customer Differentiated view of An.: highly specialized
[IMM;C;1.33;28] Commitment ( AC), performance, product Loyalty Intention (+)*; relationships in the commitment (AC & & idiosyncratic setting; ;
and Calculative output, after sales AC: Loyalty Intention market for very high- CC); Mediating role of high technology markets;
Commitment (CC) service] (+)*, RC (+)*; volume (VHV) copiers in T, AC, and CC in high- Im.: - AC & T play
are mediators [account support, CC: Loyalty Intention the Netherlands; Study 1: technology B2B essential role in customer
between several communication, co- (+)*; qualitative, interviews markets; relationships, - marketers
antecedents [Offer operation, with customers of the T  +  AC;T -  of high-technology
Characteristics (OC), harmonization of three main suppliers in CC products are advised to
Relationship conflict] (+)*; the VHV market, used emphasize activities and
Characteristics (RC), AC: T (+)*, RC (+)*, for the development of initiatives that promote
Market MC [replaceability, hypotheses, (number of positive feelings of
Characteristics (MC)] switching costs, usable respondents: 54); affiliation, - for the
and Loyalty Intention switching risks] (+)*; Study 2: quantitative, creation of AC, let
as outcome; T CC: T (+)*, MC (+)*; sample of firms using at customers share social
influences AC & CC; least one VHV copier, events of the firm, - to
used to test hypotheses achieve higher T & AC
(number of usable supplier have to invest in
respondents: 491); diverse areas;
43 Appendix B

Table 3 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Brashear et al. (2003) Salesperson Trust (T) T: Shared Values T: JSAT (+)*, RAT B2B; cross-sectional Focus of investigation An,: internal and
[JAMS;A;1.56;21] mediator between (+)*, Managerial (+)*; survey; Sample consisted on internal interpersonal
antecedents and Job Respect (+)*, C: Turnover Intention of sales manager- interpersonal relationships; context
Satisfaction (JSAT) Managerial (-)*; salesperson relationships relationships; JSAT & specific trust building
as well as Opportunism (-)n.s.; (interpersonal) in the RAT mediators processes may reflect
Rationalism (RAT); C: JSAT (+)*, RAT north-eastern United between T & C; only differences of results in
Organizational (+)*; States, respondents came indirect effect of T on comparison to previous
Commitment (C) from wide range of C, Salesperson trust (T) studies;
mediator between industries; fosters indirectly Im.: - shared values is
JSAT, RAT and (number of usable organizational the strongest factor
Turnover Intention; respondents : 402); commitment (C), no affecting trust 
JSAT & RAT direct effect of T on C selection process of new
mediate relationship measured; employees may be the
between T and C; first and possibly most
direct & indirect important step, - T is a
relationships tested; key element in
developing behavioural
norms between individ.;
Coote et al. (2003) Antecedents of T: communication T: C (+)n.s.; B2B; buyer-supplier No significant result Im.: - quality of two-way
[IMM;C;1.33;23] Commitment (C); (+)*, conflict (-)* C: none mentioned; relationships sampled for the T-supports-C communication and the
mediating role of only in low from overseas Chinese hypothesis; no level of conflict are more
Trust (T) between contracting group, businesses in a regional mediating role of T; important to establishing
antecedents & C similarity (+)*only in Asia-Pacific country; moderating effect of C than T, - marketing
hypothesized but not low contracting (number of usable normative contracts; all managers should
confirmed; group,; respondents: 152 ; in a non-Western consider how normative
moderating effects of C: T (+)n.s., response rate: 15%); industrial marketing contracts can be
normative contracts; communication (+)*, setting; developed, - enhance
conflict (-)* only in communication, avoid
low contracting conflict, & minimize
group, similarity (- harsh words to build C &
)*only in low T;
contracting group;
44 Appendix B

Table 3 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Gao et al. (2005) Buyer Trust in T: Buyer Perceived T: Buyer DMU (-)*; B2B; Large national Buyer‟s perception of An.: Data collected from
[JBR;B;1.29;15] Supplier (T) mediator Supplier Buyer perceived sample of members of seller-side relational only one side of dyad –
between antecedents Commitment (+)*, Supplier Trust: T (+)*; the National Association variables, effect of the buyer side, model‟s
and Buyer Decision- Buyer Perceived Buyer perceived of Purchasing perceived supplier-side theoretical propositions
Making Uncertainty Supplier Trust (+)*, supplier C: Buyer Management (NAPM) in variables on buyer assume certain degree of
(DMU); Buyer Buyer Perceived DMU (-)n.s., T (+)*; the U.S. (number of trust; dyadic view; convergence between
Perceived Supplier Supplier Dependence usable respondents: 432 ; Buyer perceived buyer and supplier
Commitment (C) (-) n.s.; response rate: 25.4%); 37 supplier commitment perceptions;
fosters T; C: none mentioned; states were represented   Buyer Trust in Im.: - buyer-supplier
in the survey; Supplier; relationships based on T
& C help to reduce buyer
DMU, - indicate high
level of T by devoting
tangible relationship-
specific resources to the
Gounaris (2005) Trust (T) mediator T: Service Quality T : AC (+)*, CC (-)* ; B2B; cross-sectional Effects of service Im.: - importance of
[JBR;B;1.29;35] between antecedents (+)*, Customer AC : Maintain Relation sample; Data collected quality and customer distinction between AC
and Affective Bonding (+)*; (+)*, Invest in Relation from companies from bonding on T and, in and CC because of
Commitment (AC) as AC: T (+)*; (+)* ; different industries from turn, on AC & CC in significantly different
well as Calculative CC:T (-)*; CC : Maintain Relation various regions of B2B services; T  effects, - emphasis ought
Commitment (CC), (+)n.s., Invest in Greece, respondents have  AC, T (-) CC to be on developing AC
AC and CC Relation (+)n.s. ; been identified by for services in B2B instead of CC 
mediators between T approaching consulting markets (cf. Geyskens relationship is based on
and Outcomes companies; (number of et al., 1996) ; mutual T, -service
useable respondents: 127 quality & customer
; response rate: 45%); bonding are trust
line management boosters, - investment of
position concerning resources in the
respondents ranged from relationship may increase
middle to more senior dependence and this in
positions; turn may leads to C ;
45 Appendix B

Table 3 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
MacMillan et al. The construct of non- T: Shared Values Outcomes are B2B;All funding Limitation, Adaptation, Im.: - NPOs should
(2005) material benefits (+)*, Communication excluded; organizations of one and Modification of the engage in strategies that
[JBR;B;1.29;7] (nmB) mediates the (+)*, Non- T: nmB (+)* crime-prevention KMV model (Morgan develop nmB, since it is
relationship between Opportunistic nonprofit organization & Hunt, 1994) to the the major driver of C, -
Trust (T) & Behavior (+)*; (NPO) in South Africa NPO sector; Trust (T) communication crucial
Commitment (C); T C: Shared Values (number of usable non-material factor, most complex
mediator between (+)*, Material respondents: 41 ; benefits (nmB)  antecedent of T;
antecedents and non- Benefits (+)n.s., response rate: 33%) Commitment (C); only
material benefits; Relationship indirect effect of T on
Termination Costs C;
(+)n.s., nmB (+);
Cater & Zabkar (2009) Affective AC: T (+)*, Social AC: NC (+)*, Loyalty B2B; service industries; Multi-attribute measure Im.: - conscious
[IMM;C;1.33;3 in Commitment (AC), bonds (+)*, (+)*; professional business of commitment; management of each
googlescholar] Calculative Satisfaction (+)*; NC: Loyalty (+)n.s.; services provider- conceptualization and component of
Commitment (CC), NC: AC (+)*,T CC: Loyalty (-)n.s.; customer relationships; operationalization of commitment facilitate
and Normative (+)n.s., Social bonds data collected from three components of profitability & customer
Commitment (NC) as (+)n.s., Satisfaction managers responsible for commitment: AC, NC, retention, - satisfaction
mediator variables (+)*; marketing research in CC; mediating role of major precursor of AC
between antecedents CC: T (-)n.s., marketing research client these components (cf.  enhance satisfaction, -
and Loyalty; Trust Satisfaction (-)*; companies in Central and Geyskens et al., 1996); management of
(T) as antecedent; Eastern Europe in 2005 T as an antecedent interpersonal
(number of usable relationships important, -
respondents: 150 ; build strong business
response rate 65.2%); friendships;
46 Appendix B

Table 4: Findings with focus of investigation not on trust-commitment relationship

Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
[journal; vhb ranking; of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Impact factor; times Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
cited (see ISI WoK)] (*=sign. result; (*=sign. result;
n.s.= no sign. result) n.s.= no sign. result)
Dwyer et al. (1987) Framework for T: none T: none B2B & B2C; no T, C & disengagement Im.: - realize important
[JM;A+;3.78;900 in developing buyer- operationalized, but operationalized, but operationalization, no critical constructs of differences between
ebsco] seller relationships; 5 „conflicts of interest‟ „favorable attitudes (- measurements; relationship discrete transaction &
phases of relationship & „prospects for )‟, „communications (- development process; relational exchange, -
development process; unity and trouble‟ are )‟, „bargaining behavior Relationship relationship development
Trust (T) rudiment of mentioned in the text; (-)‟, „risk taking (+)‟, development process in is a process of ever-
subprocess of C: none „dependence (+)‟ & phases; discrete expanding
“expectations operationalized, but „effectiveness (+)‟ are transactions vs. interdependency between
development” within „T‟, mentioned in the text; relational exchange; buyer & seller, - develop
Phase II. Exploration „inputs/investments C: none idea that T has a an exchange structure
and Phase III. to the association‟ operationalized, but positive impact on C that makes termination
Expansion; and other aspects of „certainty (+)‟, indicated in the text; of the relationship
Commitment (C) as Pases I-III are „efficiency (+)‟ & unattractive;
one phase of relation. mentioned in the text; „effectiveness (+)‟ are
development, Phase mentioned in the text;
Moorman et al. (1993) User Trust in the Antecedents ONLY ONLY for T & just B2B; A sample of Extensive investigation An.: non-significant
[JM;A+;3.78;350] Researcher (T) for T hypothesized conceptualized not research users was of antecedents of trust; antecedents of T not
mediates relationship and tested. tested; generated by contacting weak effects of the listed because of limited
between various T: Individual User T: Utilization of each firm and division on moderators on the space & clear
antecedents and Characteristics [none Market Research the Advertising Age hypothesized arrangement; regard to
Utilization of Market significant], Information (+); 1990 list of the top 200 relationships; psychological &
Research Perceived (perc) advertisers and ask them sociological components
Information; Researcher Research for participation and of T
Hypothesized effects Abilities & recommendation of Im.: - interpersonal
of individual and Motivations nonmarketing managers; factors are the most
organizational [Expertise (+)*, (number of usable predictive of T / results
moderators Willingness to reduce respondents: 779 ; indicate trust may be
uncertainty (+)*], response rate: 45.3%) more a function of
47 Appendix B

perc. Researcher interpersonal factors than

Personal Abilities & individual factors, -
Motivations researcher‟s perceived
[Sincerity (+)*, integrity, willingness to
Integrity (+)*, reduce research
Tactfulness (+)*, uncertainty, and
Timeliness (+)*, confidentiality are the
Congeniality (-)*], most important
perc. User predictors of T, -
Organizational findings generalizable to
Structure different types of
[Formalization (-)*], relationships;
perc. User
Culture [none
significant], perc.
User Organizational
Location [none sign.],
perc. User &
Organizational /
Departmental Power
[Researcher Org /
Dept Power (+)*],
perc. Researcher
Organizational /
Departmental Culture
[Researcher Org /
Dept Hierarchy (-)*],
perc. Researcher
Location [Researcher
Org / Dept Location
(-)*], perc. Project
[Customization (+)*]
48 Appendix B

Table 4 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Kumar et al. (1995) Direct effects of T: Interdependence T: none mentioned; B2B; new car dealers in Effects of Im.: - T & C do not
[JMR;A+;3.01;267] perceived asymmetry [IA] (-)*, C: none mentioned; two states from a interdependence naturally flourish in
interdependence on total interdependence T,C, and conflict as commercial list (number asymmetry and total asymmetric relationships
channel firm attitude, [TI](+)*; outcomes of IA & TI; of usable respondents: interdependence on T, (must be developed an
precisely the C: Interdependence 417) C and interfirm cultivated), - highly
constructs of asymmetry [IA] (-)*, conflict; (TC interdependent
interfirm conflict, total interdependence relationship is not relationships are more
Trust (T), and [TI] (+)*; examined ) likely to endure and the
Commitment (C); no basis for sustainable
mediating or comp. advantages;
moderating role
De Wulf et al. (2001) Trust (T), RQ RQ [T,C,Satisfaction]: B2C; cross-country Multi-country and An.: n…number of
[JM;A+;3.58;119] Commitment (C), & [T,C,Satisfaction]: behavioral loyalty (+)*; (U.S., Netherlands, multi-industry sample; usable respondents;
Satisfaction perceived Belgium [Flemish part]) effect of perceived Im.: - perceived
conceptualized as relationship & cross-industry (food, relationship investment relationship investment
dimensions of higher- investment (+)*; apparel) investigation; on RQ; impact of positively affects RQ, -
order construct retailer-consumer different relationship interpersonal
relationship quality relationships; marketing tactics on communication is a
(RQ); RQ mediator information collected perceived relationship dominant determinant of
between perceived from real consumers; investment; T & C as perceived relationship
relationship U.S. (food: n=231, dimensions of RQ; investment, - preferential
investment and apparel: n= 230), moderating effects of treatment (as relationship
behavioral loyalty; Netherlands (food: product category marketing tactic) is less
product category n=337, apparel: n= 338), involvement and valued by the consumer,
involvement & Belgium (food: n= 289, consumer relationship - direct mail tactic only
consumer apparel: n=302); proneness; in the Netherlands and
relationship Belgium advisable, not
proneness moderate in the U.S.;
effect of relationship
investment on RQ;
49 Appendix B

Table 4 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Verhoef et al.(2002) Effects of relational T: none mentioned; T: CR (+)*, SP (+)n.s.; B2C; Survey of focus of investigation Im.: - worthwhile to
[JAMS;A;1.59;64] constructs [Trust (T), AC: none mentioned AC: CR (+)*, SP (+)*; customers of one on moderating effect of invest in AC in all
Affective CC: switching costs, CC: CR (-)n.s., insurance company in the relationship age, no relationship phases,
Commitment (AC), relationship SP (-)n.s.; Netherlands (number of evidence for a time- especially in the later
Calculative termination costs usable respondents:1986 dependent effect of T phases, - worthwhile to
Commitment (CC), (only mentioned in ; response rate: 35% )]; (cf. Grayson&Ambler, invest in relational
Satisfaction, Payment the text, not combination of archival 1999), no moderating constructs to increase
Equity] on operationalized) and survey data; effect of relationship customer referrals, -
relationship outcomes age on customer knowledge on how short-
[Customer referrals referrals; and long-term
(CR), Number of differentiation of C relationships differ can
Services Purchased between AC & CC (cf. be helpful for developing
(SP)]; and Moorman et al., 1996); specific strategies for
moderating effect of T,AC,CC all both relationship types;
relationship age on antecedents, on the
these relationships; same level, no
relationship among
themselves analyzed;
Johnson & Grayson Differentiated CT: service provider CT: AT (+)*, sales B2C; Survey data from Exploration of the Im.: - the construct of
(2005) operationalization of expertise (+)*, effectiveness (+)*, customers of a large multidimensionality of trust has two dimensions,
[JBR;B;1.29;37] two dimensions of product performance anticipation of future United Kingdom the trust construct, 3 a cognitive and an
trust: Cognitive (+)*, firm reputation interactions (+)*; financial advisory dimensions: cognitive, affective, - both
Trust (CT) and (+)n.s., satisfaction AT: anticipation of service firm, respondents affective, and dimensions of trust have
Affective Trust (AT) with the previous future interactions = randomly selected behavioural; only AT unique antecedents, -
are mediators interactions (+)*; (+)*; customers; (number of & CT operationalized relationship between
between antecedents AT: CT (+)*,firm C:none mentioned; usable respondents: 334 ; because behaviour trust (cognitive) trust and
and outcomes; reputation (+)*, response rate:19%); is implicitly treated as sales effectiveness exist,
Commitment (C) satisfaction with the the consequence of AT - a multidimensional
excluded; previous interactions & CT; conceptualization may be
(+)n.s., similarity fruitful for exploring the
(+)*; managerial benefits of
C: none mentioned; trust;
50 Appendix B

Table 4 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Palmatier et al. (2006) Trust (T) & T: Customer- T: Customer- B2B & B2C ; Meta- Meta-analysis of Im.: - managers should
[JM;A+;3.78;76] Commitment (C) are focused[relationship focused[expectation of analysis, effectiveness of engage in proactive
mediators between benefits (+)*, continuity(+)*, word of conceptualization & test relationship marketing; relationship marketing
several antecedents dependence on seller mouth(+)*, customer of a causal framework; focus of investigation spending, - expertise,
and outcomes; T & C (+)*], seller- loyalty(+)*], seller- 111 independent samples not on relationship communication and
=customer-focused focused[relationship focused[seller objective of 94 different between T & C but similarity to customers
relational mediators investment(+)*, seller performance (+)*], manuscripts (combined rather on determinants are the most effective
(on the same level, no expertise(+)*], dyadic[cooperation number of respondents of relationship antecedents/relationship-
relationship between dyadic[communicatio (+)*]; (N):38077 ; average performance as well as building strategies, -
both constructs n (+)*, similarity(+)*, C: Customer- N:343); impact and importance interpersonal
hypothesized and relationship duration focused[expectation of of relationship relationships are more
tested), among (+)*, interaction continuity(+)*, word of strategies; effective than
relationship frequency (+)*, mouth(+)*, customer organizational
satisfaction & conflict (-)*]; loyalty(+)*], seller- relationships, - the
relationship quality; C: Customer- focused[seller objective impact of commitment
effects on outcomes focused[relationship performance (+)*], in consumer markets is
influenced by several benefits (+)*, dyadic[cooperation higher than in business
moderators ; dependence on seller (+)*]; markets;
(+)*], seller-
investment(+)*, seller
n (+)*, similarity(+)*,
relationship duration
(+)*, interaction
frequency (+)*,
conflict (-)*];
51 Appendix B

Table 4 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Luo et al. (2008) Customer Trust T: Customer T: Firm Performance B2B & B2C; China, Focus of An.: Results: Moderating
[JAMS;A;1.56;0] toward the firm (T) & Orientation (+)*; (+)*; Chinese market; investigations: effect of channel
Customer C: Customer C: Firm Performance Sampling frame is the Moderating effects of networking positive
Commitment toward Orientation (+)* (+)n.s.; official directory of channel and linear (+), moderating
the firm (C) are China Basic Statistical governmental effect of government
mediators between Unit Yearbook, from networking on networking is restricted
customer orientation which firms located in customer orientation- to a moderate level of
and firm three metropolitan areas customer governmental
performance; were randomly selected trust/commitment-firm networking ();
relationships (number of usable performance (CTP) Im.: - governmental
moderated by respondents: 238 ; causal chain; networking may have
institutional response rate 71.7%); both positive and
networking (channel negative impacts on the
networking, CTP chain, not always
government functional and
networking); no advantageous to a firm, -
relationship between customer focused firms
T & C hypothesized may receive higher T &
& measured, both C and, in turn, improved
constructs on the firm performance;
same „level‟;
52 Appendix B

Table 4 (continued)
Study Type of the Model (Direct) Antecedents (Direct) Outcomes of Design/Methodology Important Differences Implications /
of Trust and Trust and /Approach /Empirical / Aspects with regard Annotations
Commitment Commitment Setting to previous studies
Palmatier et al. (2009) Customer Gratitude 1:T: RM investments 1: T: C (+)* [Rep]; Study 1: B2C; focus on Effects of FG & GB on An.: Rep=Replication;,
[JM;A+;3.78;3] (G) [feelings of (+)n.s. [Rep], FG C: customer purchase affective component of T; T,C, and G as mediating role of
gratitude (FG), (+)*; intentions (+)* [Rep]; gratitude; laboratory mediators between gratitude as main focus
gratitude-based C: RM investments 2a: T: C (+)* [Rep]; experiment, business antecedents and of research, investigation
reciprocal behaviors (+)* [Rep], T (+)* C: Share of wallet undergraduate students at outcomes; T has no of commitment-trust
(GB)], [customer] [Rep]; (+)*[Rep], Sales a mid-western U.S. direct impact on relationship only via
Trust (T), and 2a: T: RM revenue (+)* [Rep]; university (number of outcomes; replication;
[customer] investments (+)* 2b: T: C (+)* [Rep]; usable respondents: 155); Im.: - increase RM‟s
Commitment (C) are [Rep], GB (+)*; C: Sales growth (+)* Study 2: B2B; focus on effectiveness by
mediators between C: RM investments [Rep]; behavioral component of leveraging gratitude, -
relationship (+)* [Rep], T (+)* gratitude; longitudinal increase customer‟s
marketing (RM) [Rep]; design (2b); field study perception of the seller‟s
investments and 2b: T: RM (2a), survey of customers free will and
seller performance invesments (+)* manufacturers‟ benevolence when
outcomes; [Rep], GB (+)n.s. representative firms providing a RM benefit,
[Rep]; selling industrial - sellers should give
C: RM investments products/services across customers opportunities
(+)* [Rep], T (+)* a wide range of to reciprocate soon after
[Rep]; industries in North providing them with an
America (2a: number of RM benefit to take
usable respondents: 446), advantage of high levels
matched with sales data of gratitude;
provided by seller (2b:
number of usable
respondents: 126);
53 Appendix C

Appendix C
Zusammenfassung in deutscher Sprache (gemäß § 21, (5) StuPO)
In Zeiten der Globalisierung und des damit verbundenen steigenden internationalen
Wettbewerbs, steigt die Bedeutung erfolgreicher Geschäftsbeziehungen.
Beispielsweise können in business-to-business (B2B) Beziehungen Fähigkeiten und
Ressourcen effizient geteilt oder in business-to-consumer (B2C) Beziehungen
Kundenbedürfnisse gezielt aufgezeigt und gedeckt werden. Erfolgreiche Beziehungen
steigern demnach die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit eines Unternehmens.
Vertrauen („trust“) und Verbundenheit („commitment“) sind laut Marketing Literatur
entscheidende Elemente zur Entwicklung erfolgreicher, effizienter und anhaltender
Geschäftsbeziehungen. Den Ursprung einer etablierten Meinung in der Marketing
Literatur stellt die Studie von Morgan und Hunt (1994) dar. Die Autoren entwickelten
das sogenannte „key mediating variable“ Model, wonach Vertrauen sowie
Verbundenheit vermittelnde Variablen zwischen mehreren Ausgangs- und
Ergebniselementen sind und Vertrauen zudem ein unmittelbarer Treiber von
Verbundenheit ist (siehe Fig.1 in Appendix A). Die fördernde Wirkung von Vertrauen
in Bezug auf Verbundenheit ist weit verbreitet in der Marketing Literatur. Ziel dieser
Literatur-Review ist es die Bedingungen der Gültigkeit und der Widersprüche
letztgenannter Verknüpfung zu analysieren und aufzuzeigen.
Im business-to-business Kontext wurde der positive und direkte Effekt von Vertrauen
auf Verbundenheit für den Austausch von Dienstleistungen (Caceres & Paparoidamis,
2007; Farrelly & Quester, 2003; Grayson & Ambler, 1999; Keh & Xie, 2009;
Moorman et al., 1992; Tellefsen & Thomas, 2005;) sowie für den Handel von
Produkten (Andaleeb, 1996; Kingshott & Pecotich, 2007; Morgan & Hunt, 1994;
Palmatier et al., 2007;) empirisch belegt. Die Gültigkeit der Vertrauen-Verbundenheit
Relation im B2B Kontext ist speziell sogar im internationalen Handel von Produkten
nachgewiesen worden (Barnes et al., 2010; Leonidou et al., 2008). Zusätzliche
Gültigkeit findet der positive Effekt von Vertrauen auf Verbundenheit auch in B2C
Beziehungen des tertiären Sektors (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010; Eastlick et al., 2006;
Garbarino & Johnson, 1999).
Allerdings gibt es auch widersprüchliche Ergebnisse in der Marketing Literatur.
Demnach haben Gao et al. (2005) einen positive Effekt von Verbundenheit auf
Vertrauen nachgewiesen. Genauer gesagt haben die Autoren für B2B Käufer-
Lieferanten Beziehungen durch ein signifikantes Ergebnis nachgewiesen, dass die
54 Appendix C

vom Käufer wahrgenommene Verbundenheit des Lieferanten das Vertrauen des

Käufers positiv beeinflusst (Gao et al., 2005). Des Weiteren haben Coote et al. (2003)
für nicht-westliche Marketing Beziehungen keinen signifikanten Effekt von Vertrauen
auf Verbundenheit nachweisen können (Coote et al., 2003). Lediglich ein indirekter
positiver Effekt von Vertrauen auf Verbundenheit wurde von MacMillan et al. (2005)
für B2B Beziehungen des gemeinnützigen Sektors sowie von Brashear et al. (2003)
für interne Beziehungen zwischen Verkaufs-Managern und Verkäufern gefunden.
Darüber hinaus wurden unterschiedliche Verknüpfungen zwischen Vertrauen und
Verbundenheit als Folge unterschiedlicher und differenzierterer Operationalisierungen
dieser Elemente in der Marketing Literatur diskutiert. So wurden beispielsweise
signifikante Ergebnisse für einen direkten, positiven Effekt von Vertrauen auf
affektive Verbundenheit (Cater & Zabkar, 2009; de Ruyter et al., 2001; Gounaris,
2005; Geyskens et al., 1996) sowie für einen direkten, negativen Effekt von Vertrauen
auf kalkulatorische Verbundenheit gefunden (de Ruyter et al., 2001; Gounaris, 2005;
Geyskens et al., 1996).

Um die Schlüsselelemente erfolgreicher Beziehungen effizient fördern und

dementsprechende Strategien entwickeln zu können, ist es wichtig deren Wegbereiter
zu kennen. Wie bereits gezeigt ist Vertrauen das Schlüsselelement zur Bildung von
Verbundenheit. Doch wie fördert man die Bildung von Vertrauen in
Wirtschaftsbeziehungen? Auf B2C Märkten ist die angebotene Produkt- (Johnson &
Grayson, 2005) bzw. Servicequalität (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010) ein Hauptwegbereiter
für Vertrauen. Eine entscheidende Rolle in diesem (Aurier & N‟Goala, 2010;
Garbarino & Johnson, 1999; Johnson & Grayson, 2005) wie auch in einem B2B
Umfeld (Caceres & Paparoidamis, 2007; Ganesan, 1994; Geyskens et al., 1999;
Leonidou et al., 2008) spielt die Zufriedenheit des Gegenübers. Im letztgenannten
Kontext sind auch geteilte Wertvorstellungen eine Vorbedingung zur Bildung von
Vertrauen (Brashear et al., 2003; Coote et al., 2003; MacMillan et al., 2005; Morgan
& Hunt, 1994; Palmatier et al., 2006). Um dies festzustellen und allgemein Vertrauen
zu fördern ist eine gute, offene und regelmäßige Kommunikation zwischen den
Unternehmen der Beziehung von entscheidender Bedeutung (Coote et al., 2003; de
Ruyter et al., 2001; Geyskens et al., 1998; MacMillan et al., 2005; Morgan and Hunt,
1994; Palmatier et al., 2006). Zudem ist die Investition von Zeit, Anstrengung und
Ressourcen ein wirksames Instrument zur Förderung von Vertrauen innerhalb von
Geschäftsbeziehungen (De Wulf et al., 2001; Ganesan, 1994; Palmatier et al., 2006;
55 Appendix C

Palmatier et al., 2007; Palmatier et al., 2009). Der Investor signalisiert durch derartige
Investitionen seinem Partner, dass seine Abhängigkeit vom Erfolg der Beziehung
gestiegen ist und er demnach einen geringeren Anreiz zu opportunistischem Verhalten
hat (Barnes et al., 2010; Kumar et al., 1995; MacMillan et al., 2005; Morgan and
Hunt, 1994; Palmatier et al., 2006; Palmatier et al., 2007). Damit wechselseitiges
Vertrauen innerhalb der Beziehung entsteht sollte auch der Partner spezifisch in die
Beziehung investieren, damit auch sein Anreiz zu opportunistischem Verhalten sinkt
(Kumar et al., 1995).
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