Purpose - This paper aims to explore how relational constructs (total interdependence, trust, commitment, cooperative norms and conflict) impact the buyer's relationship satisfaction across the relationship lifecycle. Design/methodology/approach - Data were collected through mail survey from a sample of 162 Australian buyers. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to purify the measurement scales and multiple regression analysis techniques using dummy variables were used to test the hypotheses. Findings - The results indicate that interdependence and trust are associated with higher relationship satisfaction in the build-up and maturity phases while commitment is associated with higher relationship satisfaction in the maturity phase. Unexpectedly, cooperative norms are found to drive relationship satisfaction in both the build-up and maturity phases. Conflict, however, is not found to affect relationship satisfaction in the decline/deterioration phase. Research limitations/implications - A limitation of this study is the unequal sample size in each of the relationship phases. It would be desirable to run a model consisting of the five relational constructs for each of the three phases. Originality/value - Literature has suggested that the effects of relational constructs on outcomes vary across relationship phases. While this notion has been established theoretically, there has been little attempt to measure it empirically. This paper provides an empirical test of the important, yet unexplored, question of how different relational constructs have different effects on buyer satisfaction depending upon the relationship phase.
- Customer satisfaction
- Relationship marketing