Paper info: An empirical investigation into the formation of psychological contracts within supplier distributor relationships
An empirical investigation into the formation of psychological contracts within supplier distributor relationships
Russel P J Kingshott
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 18th IMP-conference in Perth, Australia in 2002.
Whilst scholars have attempted to explain the interaction between suppliers anddistributors from a number of theoretical perspectives, social exchange theory hasbegun to take prominence because of its capacity to explain complex, multi-faceted andinterdependent relationships between parties. In the management literature,psychological contracts have been successfully employed to help model similar types ofrelationships within the context of the employer-employee interface (Rousseau 1990;Robinson 1996; Turnley and Feldman 1999). This construct is grounded in socialexchange theory and is centred on promissory-based obligations that are also crucialaspects within long-term marketing relationships. Given that there appears to be noempirical studies devoted to this important construct within the extent marketingliterature, the core proposition is made that psychological contracts are also inherentwithin supplier-distributor relationships. Confirmatory factor analysis provides the firstempirical support that the psychological contract is also inherent within closeinterdependent marketing relationships. Closer analysis also reveals that the constructis second-order in nature and manifests itself through a four-factor structure,corroborating the multi-faceted nature of supplier-distributor relationships.