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Complaint Management and Suppliers’ Engagement in Long-term Relationships - Suppliers Behavior and Fairness TheoryThis study considers behavioral consequence of unequally treating with various suppliers in business to business relationships. Although firms have different business strategies for treat with their suppliers, they may change their macro-strategies to achieve maximum revenue. Hence, they behave in a different way than before with their suppliers. Change in strategies towards relationship may happen as a result of change in pricing strategies, change in capacity strategies, and so on.
Applying new strategies, suppliers will have different perceptions regarding the way they have been treated: some believes in gaining benefit and others have faith in lost their benefits. In this research, we look at both positive and negative perception of suppliers, those who have positive impression and those who have negative impression from new strategies.
The first group is satisfied from the consequence and so continues their relationship with focal buyer and tries to be more cooperative. The second group may perceive this change as no fair to their business. So, this conflict of interests will be resulted in negative behavioral intentions: they may cut the relationship and seek for new business partners or continue to have relationship with firm, although they are dissatisfied with consequences. They change their behavior and do not supply as promised, because they have no other proper choice to replace. This will be resulted in penalty fees defined by firm which is the starting point of rebellion for suppliers.
Fairness and justice (procedural justice, interaction justice, distributive justice, and informational justice) are used to study the effects of having different strategies in a business relationship. If suppliers do not believe in fairness in their relationship with firm, it may causes losing trust toward it. In addition, it diminishes its commitment and therefore it will cause conflict between two-parties.
Each of trust, commitment and conflict may have influence on cooperation between suppliers and firm. The higher conflicts and lower trust and commitment can bring about cooperation interruption. In contrast, the lower conflicts and higher trust and commitment may encourage more powerful business relationship. It is possible for suppliers do not interrupt the cooperation with firm, but they may show different behavioral intentions than before toward firm or in some situation show opportunism. Besides, relationship quality effects as a moderator on relationship between perceived fairness and each of trust, commitment and conflict indirectly.