This study aims to examine how contractual mechanisms, trust and ethical levels impact opportunism in marketing channel relationships between manufacturers and distributors. Because the type of interactions, short-term or transaction-based vs long-term or relation-based, may also affect the level of opportunism, the study includes two scenarios to assess the impact of interaction type.
Survey data from 145 distributors were collected with 69 being transaction-based and 75 being relation-based interactions.
The sole use for transaction-based and relation-based interactions is not a significant deterrent for opportunistic behavior by a distributor. Ethical level is negatively related to opportunism in transaction-based interactions, perhaps because of calculative commitment. Trust positively moderates the relationship between contractual enforcement and opportunism in transaction-based interactions. Under relation-based interactions, the opposite occurs as trust reduces contractual enforcement efforts, and thus, opportunism is reduced as well. Ethical level negatively moderates the relationship between contractual enforcement and opportunism in transactional and relational based interactions.
Researchers have called for a more holistic approach to better understand phenomena. This study addressed that call by being the first to include contracts, trust, ethical level and opportunism within the context of the transaction and relation-based interactions between a manufacturer and a distributor. Contractual enforcement is not a significant deterrent of opportunism for transactional or relational interactions. Trust is negatively related to opportunism only in transaction-based interactions; perhaps, the threshold for acting opportunistically may be lower because of the short-term nature of the interaction. The ethical level is negatively related to opportunism in transaction and relational interactions.
- Miller, Richard J.
- Munoz, Laura
- Mallin, Michael L
Additional Document Info
number of pages