Value differences as determinants of importers' perceptions of exporters' unethical behavior: The impact on relationship quality and performance
AuthorLeonidou, Constantinos N.
Leonidou, Leonidas C.
Coudounaris, Dafnis N.
SourceInternational Business Review
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The article focuses on the value drivers of the unethical marketing behavior of exporters, as seen from the perspective of their importers, and how this in turn affects the quality of their working relationship and performance. Based on a sample of 189 Cypriot importers, the study revealed that similarities in national, corporate, and personal values between importers and their foreign suppliers are negatively related to unethical marketing practices of the latter as perceived by the former, and vice versa. Perceived export marketing unethicality, in turn, negatively influences the exporter-importer relationship quality (as expressed in terms of cooperation, communication, trust, and commitment), which subsequently has harmful effects on the performance of the relationship. In addition, the existence of a high similarity in both value strength and ethical codes between importers and their export suppliers was found to positively affect the quality of the working relationship. Finally, the association of both corporate and personal values similarity with perceived export marketing unethicality was found to be moderated by network ties, although this was not evident in the case of national values similarity. The findings of the study have important implications for import managers in terms of properly selecting and handling relationships with their foreign suppliers. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.