This model is based on perceived fairness of how each supplier groups is treated by firm (buyer). It is assumed that their perceptions have impact on some elements of relationships. In this part, we will describe the conceptual model and also defined hypotheses as follows. Figure1 illustrates the conceptual model and the hypotheses.
Justice and perceived fairness
Suppliers may do not believe in equal perceived fairness, while firm decide to make changes in their behaving strategies toward its total suppliers. Applying new strategies, suppliers may be divided to two groups. One group has a good feeling about new strategies and the second one has no good perception from perceived fairness equally.
Therefore, the first group who are satisfied with new strategies will continue to their relationships with firm. But, the second one may act in one of two following ways: First, they do not agree with perceived fairness. So, they interrupt the relationship and seek for new business partners. Second, although they are dissatisfied with consequence, they continue to have relationship with firm. Because they have no other proper choice to replace, but they believe the relationship of firm with its suppliers is not fair equally and so they do not supply in the best way. In this study, we consider the relationship fairness from aspect of procedural justice and informational justice.
In business to business relationships, both procedural justice and informational justice have significant effect on suppliers’ perceived fairness. Although suppliers may not be satisfied with outcome, they certainly would believe that the firm did its best to respects the relationship, if the firm clarifies the procedure and required information in applying new strategies. Hence, the outcome will be acceptable for suppliers, despite the dissatisfactory consequence. Therefore, the effect of both procedural justice and informational justice on perceived fairness is not condonable. So, to examine the effects of justice on perceived fairness, this research proposes the following hypotheses.
H1a: The procedural justice has a direct positive effect on perceived fairness.
H1b: The interaction justice has a direct positive effect on perceived fairness.
H1c: The distributive justice has a direct positive effect on perceived fairness.
H1d: The informational justice has a direct positive effect on perceived fairness.
Perceived fairness and trust, commitment and conflict
Aside from perceived fairness and justice, there are other characteristic in a business relationship such as trust, commitment and conflict. Giving sufficient information to suppliers cause they put more trust on firm. In addition, perceived fairness can effect on suppliers’ commitment toward firm and they force themselves to undertake their responsibilities than firm. On the other hand, perceived fairness has impact on the level of conflict in the relationship between suppliers and firm.
Thus, to examine the effects of perceived fairness on each of trust, commitment and conflict, we hypothesize the following.
H2a,b: The perceived fairness positively affects suppliers’ (a) trust and (b) commitment.
H2c: The perceived fairness negatively affects suppliers’ conflict.
Trust versus cooperation, behavioral intention and opportunism
In B2B relationships, suppliers expect to have long-term cooperation with firm, which is resulted from having trust in their business relationship. If firm behave in a fair manner in relationship with each of its suppliers, which it causes more trust, it impresses suppliers behavioral intentions and also they do not intend to cheat on firm and tendency to being opportunist.
In contrast, having no trust can interrupt current cooperation. Suppliers may have propensity to complaint or even tendency to use opportunities for cheat on. So, to examine the effects of trust on each cooperation, behavioral intention and opportunism, this research proposes the following hypotheses.
H3a,b: The trust positively affects suppliers’ (a) cooperation and (b) long-term orientation.
H3c: The trust negatively affects suppliers’ opportunism behaviour.
Commitment versus cooperation, behavioral intention and opportunism
More commitment may cause more long-term relationship. Furthermore, it can be resulted in better behavior intention context, such as further intentions and also, suppliers does not intend to cheat on. In contrast, without commitment, current cooperation will be interrupted. Suppliers may have propensity to complaint or even tendency to use opportunities for cheat on. Hence, we hypothesize the following.
H4a,b: The commitment positively affects suppliers’ (a) cooperation and (b) long-term orientation.
H4c: The commitment negatively affects suppliers’ opportunism behavior.
Figure 1. The Relationships and hypotheses