Communications Project

Document Type:Dissertation
Name:Tao Gao
Title:Effects of Relationship Quality on Customer Perceived Value in Organizational Purchasing
Degree:Doctor of Philosophy
Committee Chair: M. Joseph Sirgy
Committee Members:Monroe M. Bird
David Brinberg
James R. Brown
James E. Littlefield
James E. Littlefield
Keywords:Perceived Value, Relationship Quality, Customer, Organizational Purchasing, NAPM
Date of defense:August 3, 1998
Availability:Release the entire work for Virginia Tech access only.
After one year release worldwide only with written permission of the student and the advisory committee chair.


Research and practitioners alike have underscored the importance of customer value creation in marketing. For any marketing practice to be successful, it must first create value for customers. This is also true for the practice of relationship marketing, which is enjoying popularity among organizational marketers. However, there has been a lack of research done on the predictive effects of relationship marketing constructs in relation to buyer perceived value in organizational marketing. In other words, we still know little about the mechanism through which a good relationship enhances customer perceived value.

The primary purpose of this study is to conceptually develop and empirically test a model that explains how the quality of a buyer-supplier relationship affects the buyer's value judgment in an organizational purchasing context. In the study, relationship quality is defined as comprising three different but mutually reinforcing dimensions: mutual trust, mutual commitment, and interdependence. Perceived value is conceptualized as an overall assessment of the utility of an offering based on the benefits and costs of accepting an offering.

The conceptual model specifies the several routes through which relationship quality impacts buyer perceived value. First, a good relationship increases relationship benefits and reduces relationship costs, which in turn influences customer value perception - the higher the relationship benefits (and lower relationship costs), the higher the customer perceived value. Second, a good relationship reduces decision-making uncertainty. Lower decision-making uncertainty is hypothesized to increase the effects of perceived purchase episode benefits and perceived purchase episode costs on perceived value. The model was generally confirmed by an empirical test based on data collected from a national sample of purchasing managers in the United States.

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