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Journal Article

The Structure of Commitment in Exchange

Gregory T. Gundlach, Ravi S. Achrol and John T. Mentzer
Journal of Marketing
Vol. 59, No. 1 (Jan., 1995), pp. 78-92
DOI: 10.2307/1252016
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1252016
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Structure of Commitment in Exchange
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Abstract

Commitment is an essential part of successful long-term relationships. Whereas commitments by both parties in an exchange can provide the foundation for development of relational social norms, disproportionate commitments can lead to opportunism by the less committed partner. The authors study the effect of the credibility and proportionality of commitment inputs in an exchange upon the development of relational social norms, opportunism, and long-term commitment intentions. They also investigate longitudinal effects of the credibility of long-term commitment intentions, relational social norms, and opportunism in one time period on commitment inputs and long-term commitment intentions in later periods. Data gathered from a behavioral simulation suggest that (1) the credibility of commitment inputs in exchange is positively related to the development of relational social norms, (2) and is positively related to long-term commitment intentions in the same time period, (3) relational social norms may be undermined by opportunistic conduct, and (4) the presence of relational social norms in one time period is positively related to commitment inputs and long-term commitment intentions in later periods.

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