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Influence of commitment on vendor selection in IT purchases


Eliina Hartojoki, Juha Munnukka and Ulla-Riitta Ahlfors

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.


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Commitment is often seen one of the key constructs of relationship marketing in business-to-business context, as it has been found to lead to desirable relational outcomes like cooperation, long-term orientation, loyalty and decreased propensity to terminate a relationship (e.g. Abdul-Muhmin, 2003, Gounaris, 2005), also leading to business performance outcomes (Ahlfors, 2005). However, the influence of this construct on actual vendor selection situations has often been forgotten, leading us to focus on studying the actual significance of commitment on the criteria on which IT purchases are settled on. Therefore, particular interest in this qualitative study is on investigating the relationship between commitment - calculative and affective commitment (e.g. Kelly, 2004) - and its role in customer relationships (e.g. de Ruyter, Moorman and Lemmink, 2001) affecting vendor selection among IT buyers. Our analyses are based on eight theme interviews conducted among medium-sized and large companies in Finland, during the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008.