Interorganizational Relationship

  • Palmatier R
  • Dant R
  • Grewal D
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Four theoretical perspectives currently dominate attempts to understand the drivers of successful interorganizational relationship performance: (1) commitment–trust, (2) dependence, (3) transaction cost economics, and (4) relational norms. Each perspective specifies a different set and distinct causal ordering of focal constructs as the most critical for understanding performance. Using four years of longitudinal data (N = 396), the authors compare the relative efficacy of these four perspectives for driving exchange performance and provide empirical insights into the causal ordering among key interorganizational constructs. The results demonstrate the parallel and equally important roles of commitment–trust and relationship-specific investments as immediate precursors to and key drivers of exchange performance. Building on the insights gleaned from tests of the four frameworks, the authors parsimoniously integrate these perspectives within a single model of interfirm relationship performance consistent with a resource-based view of an exchange. Managers may be able to increase performance by shifting resources from “relationship building” to specific investments targeted toward increasing the efficacy or effectiveness of the relationship itself to improve the relationship’s ability to create value. Moderation analysis indicates that managers may find it productive to allocate more relationship marketing efforts and investments to exchanges in markets with higher levels of uncertainty. S

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  • Robert W Palmatier

  • Rajiv P Dant

  • Dhruv Grewal

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