Perceived environmental uncertainty's effect on commitment in business-to-business channels

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Publication details

Harrison, JL & Kelly, SJ 2010, 'Perceived environmental uncertainty's effect on commitment in business-to-business channels', Marketing Intelligence and Planning, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 792-803.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to test the null hypothesis that there is no significant association between perceived environmental uncertainty (PEU) and a three component conceptualisation of commitment. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from owner/managers of community pharmacy businesses in New South Wales, Australia, with 268 responses analysed by confirmatory factor analysis to test a measurement model for each construct and a structural model to test the paper's hypothesis. Findings: The hypothesis was partially supported with results indicating that greater PEU is associated with lower instrumental and normative commitment. The association with affective commitment was more complex. No direct association with PEU was evident, however a standardised indirect effect was identified. Research limitations/implications: The primary theoretical implications are that commitment in business-to-business channels is evidently affected by PEU, suggesting in part that PEU is likely to have a moderating effect on previously identified antecedents of commitment - including power, idiosyncratic investments, interdependence, trust, and conflict. For practitioners, the implications include the complication that PEU is a relative concept felt by various agents in a market to varying extents. As such, a supplier may benefit by maintaining a watching brief on PEU within a given channel and consider altering the channel strategy to either manage PEU and/or maintain commitment. Originality/value: The findings provide original evidence that PEU is an antecedent of commitment with no other studies examining this relationship identified. The value lays both in the theoretical and practical implications highlighted in the paper.

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