The Mediating Effect of Trust and Commitment on Economic and Noneconomic Satisfaction: An Abstract
Several studies support the idea that the constructs of trust, commitment, and satisfaction are fundamentals for establishing, maintaining, and enduring successful business relationships (e.g., Ferro et al., 2016; Lee et al., 2010; Mysen et al., 2013; Palmatier et al., 2006; Rindell et al., 2013; Svensson et al., 2010).
Trust, commitment, and satisfaction are frequently included as interconnected constructs in various interorganizational contexts (Athanasopoulou, 2009). However, there is still no consensus on how these three constructs fit into a nomological network (Geyskens et al., 1999; Svensson et al., 2010). There are studies that position satisfaction as an outcome of trust and commitment (e.g., Ruekert & Churchill, 1984; Svensson et al., 2010), whereas other studies assume that satisfaction precedes trust and commitment (e.g., Geyskens et al., 1999; Moliner et al., 2007a).
In this study, satisfaction is divided into economic and noneconomic aspects of the constructs in business relationships (e.g., Ferro et al., 2016; Geyskens & Steenkamp 2000; Lee et al., 2008; Rodriguez et al., 2006). Trust and commitment are positioned as mediators between economic satisfaction and noneconomic satisfaction (e.g., Ferro et al., 2016). Therefore, the objective is to test a research model in which trust and commitment are mediators between economic satisfaction and noneconomic satisfaction.
A total of 500 questionnaires were provided personally to respondents. A total of 173 usable questionnaires were returned, constituting a response rate of 34.6%.
We performed a confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1976) to test the measurement and structural properties of the research model, based upon a sample of Puerto Rican business relationships. We performed a confirmatory factor analysis of the measurement model, which consisted of 12 indicator variables, based upon four constructs. The empirical findings support the notion that trust and commitment are mediators between economic and noneconomic satisfaction across context and through time.
From a managerial perspective, the empirical findings indicate that managers should focus their efforts on achieving economic outcome at the beginning of the relationship. If the economic satisfaction is achieved, this behavior will have a positive effect on trust and commitment and a consequence in the noneconomic satisfaction. Subsequently, it is necessary for managers to strengthen and sustain commitment in business relationships with their suppliers to ensure noneconomic satisfaction though the time.