Moderating effects of environmental uncertainty on behavioural intentions in business markets – a study across theoretical perspectives
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Authors: Tzempelikos, N. and Kooli, K.
Journal: Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to examine the moderating effect of environmental uncertainty on the impact of the focal constructs of relationship quality and relationship value on behavioural intentions across the theoretical perspectives of commitment-trust and relationship value. The study examines to which extent the application of these two theoretical perspectives can absorb part of the environmental uncertainty in a buyer/seller relationship. Design/methodology/approach: The study used empirical data from UK manufacturers from different sectors to test the hypotheses developed. The sample ranged from small enterprises to multi-billion companies. A structured questionnaire was used as a research instrument. Findings: The effects of relationship quality and relationship value on behavioural intentions are not found, to a large extent, to be moderated by environmental uncertainty. The findings support that the commitment-trust and relationship value perspectives can absorb part of the uncertainty firms face in business markets. Research limitations/implications: The current study investigates the customer perspective only. Future dyadic research will be able to offer a more holistic view of the focal constructs and their performance outcomes. Practical implications: The findings indicate that firms may find it productive to invest in more relationship marketing efforts in markets with higher levels of uncertainty to improve performance. Originality/value: Although the role of environmental uncertainty as a key exogenous factor in relationship effectiveness should not be overlooked, the theoretical perspectives of commitment-trust and relationship value suggest that relevant approaches in explaining how favourable behavioural intentions can be generated succeed in absorbing part of the uncertainty that organizations can face in business relationships.