The Role of Reciprocity in Clarifying the Performance Payoff of Relational Behavior Academic Article uri icon


  • The authors theorize that the inconsistencies in prior research regarding the relational behaviorperformance relationship arise from the type of reciprocity the firm internalizes. The results of a longitudinal study of 284 buyersupplier relationships indicate that relational behavior enhances financial performance when what is exchanged does not need to be directly comparable with what was received (i.e., heteromorphic equivalence reciprocity) or can be returned over a longer time horizon (i.e., long-term immediacy reciprocity). Moreover, relational behavior diminishes financial performance when what is exchanged must be directly comparable in form (i.e., homeomorphic equivalence reciprocity) or returned over a short time horizon (i.e., short-term immediacy reciprocity). The authors further conclude that a longitudinal interaction effect model provides a more accurate understanding of the relational behaviorperformance relationship when compared with a cross-sectional interaction effect model, because it minimizes the unobserved heterogeneity effect, thus strengthening causal inference.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Marketing Research

author list (cited authors)

  • Hoppner, J. J., & Griffith, D. A.

citation count

  • 59

complete list of authors

  • Hoppner, Jessica J||Griffith, David A

publication date

  • October 2011