RELQUAL-determinants on Satisfaction in Buyer–Supplier Relationship of Puerto Rican SMEs: An Abstract
Previous research has investigated the effect of several determinants on relationship satisfaction, each one considering different factors and testing them in different settings (e.g., Anderson and Narus 1990; Heide 1994). However, the concern that arises is whether those determinants have the same effect in buyer–supplier relationships in other countries and different industry sectors. Although many researchers have investigated buyer–supplier relationships, there is still no consensus on the components of a relationship quality model (Huntley 2006; Skarmeas et al. 2008). The research objective is therefore to examine the RELQUAL determinants on satisfaction in buyer–supplier relationships in small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in Puerto Rico.
The sampling frame consisted of a sample of 400 SMEs in Puerto Rico. A total of 133 usable questionnaires were returned, generating a response rate of 33.2%. A five-point Likert-type scale was used for all items. As suggested by Norusis (1994) and Hair et al. (2006), an exploratory factor analysis was used to identify relevant factors to be used as determinants of satisfaction in business relationships between SMEs. The reliability of the RELQUAL constructs was tested using the coefficient of Cronbach’s Alpha (Cronbach 1951), fluctuating from 0.79 to 0.94.
A multiple regression analysis was run to determine the determinants that influence the satisfaction in buyer–supplier relationships. The regression model consisted of satisfaction as the dependent variable and eleven independent RELQUAL constructs: continuity, specific assets, dependence, opportunism, coordination, trust, cooperation, commitment, formalization, competitive intensity, and market turbulence. The results from the regression showed that seven out of ten independent RELQUAL constructs turned out to be significant. The following constructs indicate a significant influence on satisfaction in the studied buyer–supplier relationships: cooperation, continuity, specific assets, opportunism, formalization, competitive intensity, and market turbulence. However, the following ones do not indicate a significant influence on satisfaction: dependence, coordination, trust, and commitment.
The contributions obtained from this study can be summarized in three statements. First, RELQUAL constructs, with its measurement properties, are available for future studies. Second, the determinants that influence buyer’s satisfaction of relationships with suppliers in Puerto Rican SMEs were identified. Third, findings from this research will benefit owners of SMEs in Puerto Rico by providing a guide of the key determinants they need to consider to develop and maintain a satisfactory business relationship with their suppliers.