Relationship benefits: conceptualization and measurement in a business-to-business environment
Kelly, SJ & Scott, DR 2012, 'Relationship benefits: conceptualization and measurement in a business-to-business environment', International Small Business Journal, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 310-39.
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This article offers both a conceptually valid measure of the relationship benefits derived from the relationship marketing, networks, services marketing and strategy literature and demonstrates the concept’s effect on business-to-business bonds. Four types of relationship benefit labelled cost, service, flexibility and image benefits are identified and their measures tested for reliability and validity. A structural model incorporating associations between a second-order relationship benefits construct and other salient relationship concepts is also tested, with significant direct associations between relationship benefits, trust and relationship investments evident, together with indirect associations between relationship benefits and instrumental, affective and normative commitment, absence of conflict, acquiescence, satisfaction and switching. The article calls for further refinement of the concept and evaluation of its associations in other contexts and in light of noted shortcomings in the literature.