Exploring the dual nature of supplier relationship commitment on buyer behaviors Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeThe authors argue that the supplier’s perspective in managing buyers using relationship commitment is incomplete. The primary reasons for incompleteness are that: the effects of the two types of relationship commitment (i.e. affective and continuance) on buyer behaviors (i.e. individualized consideration and opportunism) are largely ignored from a supplier’s perspective; there is quandary regarding the effects of the two relationship commitment types in a relationship, whether they are favorable or not; and there is also ambiguity regarding the conditions under which relationship commitment types might serve as effective relational governance mechanisms. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachThe authors employ survey data obtained from 207 suppliers to test the hypotheses using structural equations modeling.FindingsThe authors extend contemporary knowledge on supplier relationship commitment by revealing that at high-levels of buyer-leverage, supplier affective commitment can induce buyer opportunism and supplier continuance commitment can induce buyer individualized consideration. Furthermore, buyer-leverage positively moderates the interaction effect of supplier commitment types to promote buyer opportunism.Research limitations/implicationsThe authors do not examine a buyer’s perspective, but from a supplier’s perspective, suppliers can maximize their benefits from their relationship commitment by embracing affective commitment while ensuring that buyers do not have excessive leverage.Originality/valueThe study presents a significant contribution to the extant literature on relationship commitment by probing the dual nature of supplier relationship commitment; albeit for specific configurations of commitment types and buyer-leverage.

altmetric score

  • 2.35

author list (cited authors)

  • Verghese, A. J., Koufteros, X., & Peters, R.

citation count

  • 3

publication date

  • February 2020