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Opportunism is defined as one of the significant behavioral consequences in buyer-supplier relationships (Williamson, 1975). Opportunism behavior of seller is a self-interest seek for dishonesty and for supports which have negative influence on customer’s trust toward seller. Breach of contract, lying, incorrect information, and fraud are examples of opportunism.
Grayson and Ambler (1999) studied the relationship between opportunism and trust. The outcomes showed that opportunism (self-seeking behavior) may results in less effectiveness of high-trust relationships. Some researchers believed that mutual dependence between seller and buyer will decrease their opportunistic tendency. Gundlach et al., studied the impact of opportunistic on the appearance of relational sense. They found that opportunistic behaviors negatively affect on appearance the relational feelings.
We further suggest examining the impact of these relational characteristics (trust, commitment and conflict) on opportunism in business to business context.
Relationship quality is defined as customer’s intuition and appraisal of how relationship satisfies expectation, predictions goals and customer needs.
Some researchers studied the effects of trust on relationship quality. They argued that trust can be found as a characteristic of relationship quality together with opportunism and satisfaction. Others believed that high relationship quality helps customers to be hopeful in firm’s future performance (Wong and Sohal, 2002). The most significant goal of a relationship is to connect buying and selling activities of buyers and suppliers, respectively; such as R&D, quality control, marketing and so on. If the effectiveness of the relationship satisfies both customer and supplier, the relationship will be well performed. Kalwani and Narayandas studied the effects of relationship between customers and manufacturers in long-term relationship and found that this kind of relationship affects both inventory levels and cost control. Therefore, the overall cost will decrease. Lower cost means customers have to pay lower prices.
High level of relationship quality is connected with high level of trust and commitment, where it causes higher level of customer retention. In other word, having trust and commitment, customers need future benefits like confidence and economic advantages, where confidence decreases risk and also economic advantages reduces discounts.
The conceptual model suggests that relationship quality can play a moderating role for the links between perceived fairness and each of trust, commitment and conflict. Indeed, the higher the quality of the relationship, the more rigorous is the link between perceived fairness and trust, commitment and conflict in a buyer-supplier relationship.