Antecedents and outcomes of satisfaction in buyer–supplier relationships in South Africa: A replication study

Mornay Roberts-Lombard, Mercy Mpinganjira, Göran Svensson


Background: There is a clear difference of opinion amongst researchers on the interrelatedness of the variables trust, commitment, satisfaction, coordination, cooperation and continuity in a business-to-business (B2B) environment. The reason is that in previous studies much emphasis has been placed on creating and testing new theories, and not on providing practical generalities.

Aim: The aim of this study was to determine how the variable satisfaction is positioned in relation to trust and commitment, and how satisfaction relates to the variables coordination, cooperation and continuity in a South African B2B environment.

Setting: This study replicates a similar study conducted in 2013 in a B2B environment in South Africa and hopes to validate the outcome of that study by determining the relationship between the constructs postulated in the current study. The relationships between the different constructs in the proposed model will, therefore, provide a longitudinal perspective which is unique in terms of B2B research in South Africa.

Methods: Both the original and replication studies followed a quantitative approach and targeted large companies in South Africa. In the original study, data were collected from 500 large South African companies, while in the replication study data were collected from 250 large companies. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data.

Results: The findings specifically point to the need for organisations to direct resources towards the establishment of relationships that are founded on trust and commitment. Doing so will help ensure increased satisfaction, which, in turn, will result in greater coordination and cooperation in B2B relationships as well as long-term continuation of the relationship.

Conclusion: The foundation for strong B2B relationships is to secure customer satisfaction. Business managers ought to understand that when business customers are dissatisfied, it can result in the discontinuation of the business relationship.


satisfaction; trust; commitment; coordination; cooperation; continuity; relationship marketing; South Africa

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Submitted: 09 November 2015
Published: 27 October 2017

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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences    |    ISSN: 1015-8812 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2222-3436 (ONLINE)