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Title: Modelling relationship quality across organizational cultures : an empirical investigation within the logistics outsourcing industry
Author: Palaima, Tomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 9950
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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Relationship quality is the cornerstone of relationship marketing. However, conceptualizations of relationship quality vary across studies indicating the absence of a general consensus. Consistent with the definition of Hennig-Thurau et al. (2002, p. 234), relationship quality most often refers to ―a metaconstruct composed of several key components reflecting the overall nature of relationships between companies and consumers‖. However, ―the only area of convergence is three major dimensions of RQ [relationship quality] (trust, commitment and satisfaction)‖ (Athanasopoulou, 2009, p. 603). This assumption is at odds with a growing body of research which calls to ―expand the constructs and determine which aspects or dimensions should be included to obtain a multifaceted view of relational exchanges‖ (Palmatier et al., 2006, p. 152). Moreover, there is a consensus that culture affects business relationships. Yet, to date, both the phenomena are under-researched. Owing to the fragmented insights into relationship quality and its links with organizational culture, calls for future research gather momentum each day. This thesis forwards a study of relationship quality across organizational cultures. Consequently, the objective of the current study is to conceptualize rival models by amalgamating extant literature stemming from diverse theories in order to empirically corroborate (1) the dimensions of relationship quality, (2) the structural relationships between them and (3) the effects of organizational culture on relationship quality. In doing so, the current study constitutes the first attempt to evaluate the direct and moderating effects of organizational culture on relationship quality in a holistic manner. Extensive synthesis of extant literature stemming from different theories reveals six dimensions of relationship quality: loyalty, reciprocity, co-operation, communication, trust and opportunism. Further synthesis of the literature identifies five dimensions or organizational culture relevant to relationship quality: individualism and collectivism, human orientation, power distance, assertiveness and uncertainty avoidance. Owing to the absence of a general consensus, two competing models of relationship quality are conceptualized. A web-based survey was employed to collect data within the logistics outsourcing industry in the United Kingdom. This process resulted in two hundred and sixty six usable responses. Subsequently, structural equation modelling was employed to test the hypotheses of interest. The findings demonstrate that the construct of relationship quality comprises five dimensions: action loyalty, reciprocity, co-operation, trust and opportunism. Moreover, four dimensions of organizational culture appear to have effects on relationship quality: individualism and collectivism, human orientation, power distance and assertiveness. The findings result in numerous theoretical contributions and practical implications.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor