The role of commitment in foreign–Japanese relationships: mediating The RELQUAL scale: a measure of relationship quality in export market ventures. Measurement models and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) results . relationship with firms'export performance: (1) internal findings suggest that most of the export venture performance 5 years and another 24 failed our po st hoc informant quality .. additional direct paths also included in our model re vealed. The RELQUAL scale: a measure of relationship quality in export market ventures. Tools In this article, the authors develop a new measurement scale (the RELQUAL scale) to assess the degree of (c) Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Method relationship outcomes are expected to profit from the relationship in the long run. The construct long-term rela- 4. The difference ; Styles,a single export market venture is C.
It is believed that by analyzing a Table 1 The RELQUAL scale constructs, scale items and reliabilities single product, or product line, exported to a single importer in a single foreign market, it is possible to Question: As with previous research in relationship infshar: Amount of information sharing in the. Overall, this V1 This importer frequently discussed strategic issues with us. Communication quality of the. Survey instrument development et al.
The scale resulted from a combination of the strategy. Based on the and concerned parties.
A set of items designed to measure each of these V7 There was extensive formal and dimensions was developed. The original items had to informal communication during implementation. V8 We believe that over the long run, As suggested by Churchillthe measures were our relationship with the importer will then refined through interviews with people capable of be profitable.
The relqual scale: a measure of relationship quality in export market ventures
V9 Maintaining a long-term relationship understanding the nature of the concept being measured, with this importer is important to us. The final set of items of the RELQUAL scale was then V11 We are willing to make sacrifices to assessed for content and face validity by two academic help this importer from time to time.
Satisfaction with the relationship. Consid- been a highly successful one. A full listing of the 14 final items expectations R. The research setting is the UK. A because exports correspond to more than one quarter of the cover letter, a questionnaire and a postage-paid business GDP.
It is particularly valuable to research the degree of reply envelope were sent to the person responsible for communication of British exporting firms with relationship exporting in each of the British firms under study.
Unfor- parties, as the UK has a traditional deficit on net goods tunately, due to lack of financial resources, it was not exports. A sample of British enterprises was randomly possible to send a reminder mailing.
To identify the problems associated C. CFA chosen respondents to determine nondeliverable and non- provides a better estimate of reliability than coefficient alpha compliance rates, and then assessed final response rates. The Steenkamp and Van Trijp, While coefficient alpha results are as follows: In line with Menon et al.
The chi-square for this model is signif- al. Because the chi-square statistic is sensitive to sample size, we also assess additional 4. Assessment of nonresponse bias and data profile fit indices: Hence, despite the significant chi-square, the means of all the variables for both samples Armstrong and fit indices reveal that the final structural model is fairly good Overton, These proportions approximate tween the observed and predicted covariance matrices.
No Unidimensionality was evidenced by the large and signifi- significant differences between the early and late respond- cant standardized loadings of each item on its intended ents were found, suggesting that response bias was not a construct average loading size was.
As shown in Table significant problem in the study. Moreover, because ano- 1, all constructs present the desirable levels of composite nymity was guaranteed, bias associated with those who did reliability cf. Evidence of discriminant validity is revealed by the fact Their job title included president, marketing director, man- that all of the construct intercorrelations are significantly aging director and exporting director.
Respondents were different from 1, and the shared variance among any two asked to indicate their degree of experience in exporting on constructs i. The mean than the average variance explained in the items by the response was 3.
This reveals construct Fornell and Larcker, ; MacKenzie et al. Additionally, evidence of discriminant validity might ranging, the individuals appear to have considerable knowl- also be revealed by the ability of a measurement instrument edge in the specific exporting activities of the firm and are not to correlate with other related constructs Aaker et al.
A wide range of firm We tested discriminant validity by including in our sizes is represented in the sample. CFA is performed to assess the aspects of the relationship between the exporter and import- measurement properties of the existing scales, using full- er that are not captured by other relationship-marketing- C. Financial Strategic Satisfaction export export with export 5.
Nomological validity performance performance venture 1 Amount of information 0. There is a growing body of literature relationship Hennig-Thurau and Klee, This relationship is Numbers in parentheses are the t values. Higher order factor In the export marketing literature, researchers have been using many different measures to assess export performance, A second-order factor model of RELQUAL is also as no consensus exists about its conceptual and operational estimated. This model includes the four first-order factors definitions Lages and Lages, ; Shoham, Scales of amount of information sharing in the relationship, com- that aggregate various performance measures into a single munication quality of the relationship, long-term relation- measure of export performance are particularly relevant, as ship orientation and satisfaction with the relationship, along they partially overcome the difficulty of performance mea- with their standardized coefficients, observable indicators surement Katsikeas et al.
To test nomological and measurement errors see Fig. Thorelli Award for Best Paper that advances second-order factor. Although the chi-square for the sec- international marketing theory and thought in The and encompasses financial, strategic and satisfaction dimen- chi-square difference test between the first-order and sec- sions.
Overall, this suggests that the higher order model analysis. In short, as stated by Diamantopoulosp. Also in our study, all of the three dimensions were shown to be reliable and valid: Some research limitations should be acknowledged. First, Table 2 shows the correlation coefficients between the the final instrument may have created common method four components of relationship quality and the three variance that may have inflated construct relationships.
However, ter —a much greater proportion than would be anticipated they were not told the specific purpose of the study, and all of C. Additionally, if common stituent elements, so that they may handle them more method bias exists, a CFA containing all constructs should efficiently. By defining strategies and actions that address produce a single method factor Podsakoff and Organ, Although we cannot claim to only the view of one player the exporter in the exporter — have fully captured the dimensions of relationship quality, it importer relationship, not considering views from the other may be argued that we are close to it because the second- side of the dyad.
Nevertheless, such an approach would be order factor extracts the underlying commonality among particularly difficult, because the other side of the dyad is dimensions. A final limitation is tions of the four dimensions, the second-order factor model associated with the small size of the sample. Consequently, captures the common variance among them, reflecting an the results should be regarded as suggestive rather than overall assessment of relationship quality with the importer.
As relationships in an international context transcend national boundaries, unlike relationships in a domestic context, they are much more affected by social, cultural 7. Implications and directions for future research and other environmental differences.
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Hence, it would be important to test the RELQUAL scale in other internation- The quality of a relationship is central to export market- al settings to assess its stability across different samples ing practice and research, as the latest developments dem- and contexts.
It is worth studying other types of relation- onstrate. While testing nomological validity, our empirical ship; would the same scale items hold together, for findings demonstrate that the quality of a relationship in an example, in a buyer — supplier or franchiser — franchisee exporting context is strongly associated with different relationship as they do in the current research? J Mark ;64 1: Buyer — supplier relationships and customer firm op a performance scale for the other side of the dyad—the costs.
J Mark ;65 Jan: This approach will be particularly difficult if the Churchill Jr GA. A paradigm for developing better measures of marketing other side is an individual consumer, as opposed to an constructs. J Mark Res ;16 Feb: Finally, Churchill Jr GA. The Dryden Press; Coefficient alpha and the internal structure of tests. In addition to its metrika ; J Mark ;54 3: Use of the binomial theorem in interpreting and Montgomery, and other established constructs in results of multiple tests of significance.
Educ Psychol Meas ; From the guest editor. J Int Mark ;6 3: The role of relationship quality in the that measures relationship quality in export market ventures. J Acad Mark Sci ;26 2: A communication-based marketing model for with practical implications MSI,we expect that the managing relationships.
J Mark ;62 2: Output sector munificence effects on the internal methodological soundness and, consequently, contribute to political economy of marketing channels. J Mark Res ;24 4: Sources and types of intrachannel conflict.
J Retail ; ship marketing. Evaluating structural equation models with unob- servable variables and measurement errors. J Mark Res ;18 Feb: This research was funded by a research grant from the 6th Frazier GL. On the measurement of interfirm power in channels of distri- European Framework Program, Specific Support Action- bution. J Mark Res ;20 May: J Mark ;58 April: An updated paradigm for scale development incorporating unidimensionality and its assessment.
J Mark Res ;36 2: Hennig-Thurau T, Klee A. The impact of customer satisfaction and rela- tionship quality on customer retention: Psychol Mark ;14 8: References Hunt S, Nevin J. Power in a channel of distribution: Although some researchers have advanced useful conceptual and operational frameworks, they all suffer from content limitations in terms of collective exhaustiveness of the construct's domain as well as methodological shortcomings e. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is three-fold: Such articles have also somehow served as general references for several empirical studies in the field.
A critical review of these classification and characterization efforts indicates that the complex and multidimensional nature of the export performance phenomenon has been acknowledged along the years. This evolution notwithstanding, there remain some flaws in the analytical frameworks that have been proposed: Therefore, a new generic analytical framework for the characterization of the export performance construct - that builds heavily upon, and improves on, Matthyssens and Pauwels' and Katsikeas et al.
This analytical framework includes two major classification dimensions: In this way, it will be possible to compare the evolution of the use of different classes of measures.
Absolute reporting the value itself ; or relative, that is, "good" or "bad" depending on the value of some point of reference which could be: Static measured at a given point in time or dynamic indicating change between two periods of time.
Both static and dynamic measures can cover either a past or a future time. Among the conceptual aspects, some scholars e. However, since stakeholders' viewpoint and classes of measures seem to be strongly related e. As for the methodological dimensions, they include: Some part of the firm-market combination: Data may be considered objective supposed to be the same no matter what the specific source or who reports it - collected either from secondary sources or primary self-reported sources - or subjective dependent upon the personal opinion or perception of the respondent - collected either from primary sources be it self-evaluation or evaluation by competitors or by external experts or from secondary sources case material.
The totality of the performance indicators collected can be arranged in different combinations, be it for interpretative purposes or for use in statistical procedures.
A researcher may use manifest-like i. Or else, indicators can be combined to form composite scales latent variableswhich could be reflective in nature - whereby the observed indicators of performance are considered or assumed to be effects or manifestations of a latent performance factor - or formative - whereby the observed indicators are assumed to 'cause' or determine performance see Diamantopoulos, for details.
A researcher can use either one single scale, which would incorporate all performance indicators, or multiple scales, which would each represent a combination of a group of indicators. Of course, the researcher can also use simultaneously composite scales together with 'independent' indicators. Critical Analysis of 'Classical' Empirical Works Some sound export performance measurement frameworks have been proposed in the literature, albeit not without their flaws.
Cavusgil and Zou identified one performance factor composed of four indicators: Diamantopoulos criticized Cavusgil and Zou for using albeit implicitly reflective indicators when in fact "their domain of content is not homogeneous" p. This argument can be reinforced by the fact that their 'strategic goals' dimension is albeit implicitly formed as a composite of seven rather distinct indicators. Moreover, the 'perceived success', which is an overall measure, should better be used as a 'criterion' for the validation of the responses to the other indicators.
Styles refined Cavusgil and Zou's model, not only by using more fine-grained scoring for the indicators, but also by including the evaluation by competitors although from the perception of respondents in each focal firm as a way to assess convergent validity. Styles cross-validated the refined framework in two countries: Australia and United Kingdom.
Evidence was provided of factorial similarity same number of factors, and items were associated loaded high on to the same factorsfactorial equivalence same factor loadings, although one the items strategic objectives had considerably different 0. Styles' proposition may be criticized on the grounds that only small and medium-sized companies were addressed, which casts doubt on the generalizability of the results.
Furthermore, they stuck to a reflective measurement perspective, despite acknowledging this limitation "the assumption of export performance being a reflective scale should be reexamined conceptually and empirically", p.
Styles also ran an exploratory factor analysis over the indicators, but disaggregated the attainment of strategic objectives indicator into its seven original components. This reinforces the idea that strategic performance may not be highly associated with economic or sales performance, at least at the export venture level. The fact that the two perceptual overall success indicators loaded together with the economic and sales indicators suggests that they may not be independent.
They reported good model fit and cross-national equivalence between the U. Diamantopoulos has already conducted a very good critique of Zou et al. Their own argument about the possible differing effects of explanatory factors on each dimension of the scale "relative importance of determinants of export performance with respect to each dimension of the EXPERF scale"; "understanding of how various factors contribute to each of the three dimensions of exporting success", p.
Furthermore, their overall success dimension would seem to serve better as a confirmation of the other dimensions, since "satisfaction-based measures provide richer assessments of each sub-dimension, rather than additional, independent sub-dimensions" Shoham,p. Shoham factor analyzed fourteen items and uncovered three factors one of the items - market share - showed low correlations with all three factors and was subsequently dropped from further analysis: Shoham's framework can be criticized on the grounds that it considered an all exports unit of analysis instead of a single export venturewhich should be recommended only when the determinant factors in a larger explanatory model include firm-wide variables, which was not his case.
Although some authors e. Lages and Lages proposed and validated in Portugal and the U. Cross-national validation was partially supported since the model showed factorial similarity running the model separately for the two samples and constraining indicators to load on to their pre-specified factors showed a significant chi-square, which would suggest that the model did not fit the data well, but, since the chi-square statistic is sensitive to sample size, other fit indexes were also used and they all showed a good fit.
A critical analysis of measurement models of export performance
The authors thought it reasonable to conclude that in both countries the same factors and the same indicators for each factor would holdfactorial equivalence same loadings; chi-square difference was non-significantbut not full metric equivalence error variances were not found to be the same. Lages and Lages' model falls short of representing the export performance construct well because only a reflective perspective was implicitly assumed, and no relative frame of reference and no static indicator were used.
Besides, they included a situational indicator export intensity. Shoham's measurement model considered two dimensions: Although well developed, Shoham's framework is flawed because it does not include any market indicator, any relative fame of reference, nor any assessment of anticipated expected future performance. In addition, a formative structure was not even conjectured. Besides, they did not aggregate indicators into scales latent constructsbut kept them independent as pure manifest-like variables.
This review of frequently cited frameworks reveals that they fail, to varying degrees, to adequately represent the export performance phenomenon. Not only do they not provide an exhaustive account of the construct's content, but there are also deficiencies in terms of assessment of construct validity. Moreover, a competing models approach that would comparatively evaluate the original measurement model against other theoretically possible alternatives was not used by any of the works revised here.
Critical Analysis of Recent Empirical Literature An electronic and manual search, covering the period ofof 24 leading journals in International Business and also Marketing- Management- and Business-related areas, was conducted in order to identify empirical works that had dealt with the conceptualization and operationalization of export performance see Table 2. In Table 3 the different views of export performance used in 37 recent empirical studies, as well as in those seven classics revised before, are analyzed along each of the three conceptual aspects and the three types of methodological decisions presented in Figure 1.
To be included in the analysis, a study had to be empirical and have export performance whatever the format as a dependent variable. In some cases, the classification of the performance indicators along some dimension could not be clearly identified and had to be inferred by the coder this is shown in shadowed boxes in Table 3.
Though not exhaustive, the set of studies revised in Table 3 gives a fair account of export performance definition and operationalization in recent research and may be seen as an indication of trends in the field. It is revealing to note that none of the 37 empirical articles reviewed seems to fully conform to the analytical framework proposed in this paper.
They typically cover only a few angles of the construct and do not recognize or implicitly assume no formative perspective.
Almost half of the studies also used some overall measure, while strategic measures were used by almost one fourth of the studies. This apparent preference for an absolute reference seems to be in conflict with the fact that, from a managerial standpoint, performance ought to be judged also against what competitors have achieved have we fared better than them? Among the studies that used a relative frame of reference, there was great variety as to the points of comparison selected.
There was great variety in the time span used. Most researchers did not explicitly state what time span was considered. Almost half of the studies did not explicitly say what unit of analysis was to be considered. SBU was not used.
There can be seen a fairly even distribution between only objective, only subjective perceptual and both modes of assessment. In the case of objective data, self-reports by managers were used more often than secondary data.
As for subjective data, only the firm's own managers' opinions were collected. Most studies employed multiple more than one independent indicators and two thirds of the studies used aggregated scale s thereby using a latent construct representation for the phenomenon - however, a reflective measurement perspective was always assumed.
It is surprising that, despite the fact that some reasonably robust conceptual and measurement frameworks have already been proposed in the literature, most recent empirical works have chosen to employ rather simplistic conceptualization schemes and methodological procedures. Furthermore, the structure of relationships 'causes' and effects between the construct and its indicators should adequately represent their nature. Economic measures are no doubt relevant.
Besides, some market and also strategic measures might be interesting in order to account for some broader, not just short-term oriented, aspects of the export activity.
However, since strategic objectives may vary significantly among different firms, it would be difficult to devise common objectives that would enable comparison among companies. So, one could instead collect data on some overall aggregated measure that would, somehow, reflect strategic as well as other aspects of the export performance phenomenon. Should an export venture have some strategic objective that may be inconsistent with economic return at least in the short- to medium-term, then it ought to be excluded from the sample.
This would contribute to content validity and comparability of results. Since it is often difficult to clearly and uniformly segregate export results from corporate results Leonidou et al. Besides, a comparison against one's competitors would appear to be the most meaningful reference pattern from a managerial viewpoint. Static measures are good to compare among firms at a given point in time, but furnish no information as to how performance has evolved or is expected to evolve.
So, it is advisable to use a set of measures that somehow taps static and dynamic change aspects as well as past and expected future performance. A three-year time frame seems to be a reasonable cut-off point for managers to accurately report past performance and predict future performance.
The use of multiple rather than single indicators not only provides a broader coverage of the concept but also, if combined to form a scale i. Although most empirical research assumes usually implicitly a reflective perspective for the indicators whereby a latent construct, the export performance, would 'determine' the level of its indicatorsit has, in contrast, been argued that performance could be conceptualized as a consequence of its indicators Diamantopoulos,i.
A New Measurement Model Two alternative measurement models are advanced in Figure 2 and some possible indicators are suggested in Table 4. Model A incorporates three reflective economic indicators E1, E2 and E3 and three reflective market indicators M1, M2 and M3 - which are manifest variables of two formative first-order sub-constructs Economic Performance and Market Performance of Export Performance.
Export Performance itself is represented by two reflective overall indicators O1 and O2. Model B is a MIMIC multiple indicators multiple causes model composed of six formative indicators three economic and three market indicatorsbesides two reflective overall indicators O1 and O2.
Models A and B are essentially similar to those suggested by DiamantopoulosFigure 2a, p. Collectively, either one of the two models offers a broader coverage of the export performance domain than can be seen in any of the empirical studies reviewed here. As for the methodological issues, both models would use a single export venture as the unit of analysis, the mode of assessment would be subjective self-reporting by responding managers and the structure of the indicators would incorporate both reflective as well as formative scales.
The use of a hybrid formative plus reflective perspective of measurement contributes to a more appropriate representation of the construct's nature. Implications of the Use of a Formative Measurement Approach The use of a formative structure to represent the dependent construct in a 'causal' model renders the model unidentified cf.
Bollen,unless such a model also includes consequences of this latent construct, or else reflective indicators are used to represent the latent construct as in the models suggested here. A modeling approach such as this also provides a means for assessing concurrent validity.
Not only for identification purposes, but also for nomological validity purposes, one could add consequences of the construct. For example, one could ask: By modeling these consequences as factors with reflective measures or directly as manifest variables of distinct constructs the consequences, which are conceptually different from the focal constructthe measurement model is identified. Suggestion of Validation Guidelines The final selection of specific reflective indicators could follow Hinkin's suggestion of starting with twice as many indicators for each dimension as the researcher expects to retain afterwards, which should then be purified following Churchill's well-known procedures.
As for the formative indicators, one could also start with twice as many, and then retain only those that substantive theory would judge adequate to represent all the desired dimensions of the construct. However, oftentimes, the research involves other variables other than export performance and it might not be advisable to inflate the questionnaire with additional questions.
In these cases, the item generation phase will have to be simplified in order to minimize response bias caused by fatigue or boredom Hinkin, Convergent validity the degree to which multiple attempts to measure the same concept with maximally dissimilar methods are in agreement may be difficult to apply in a strict sense, since there does not seem to be a universally accepted, reliable and valid standard to gauge export performance.
However, within-scale items correlations have been used in the literature as evidence of convergent validity although, strictly speaking, this is in fact a test of unidimensionality. A test of discriminant validity degree to which measures of distinct concepts differ can be conducted between sub-scales of Model A e.
Another way to assess discriminant validity between reflective scales is to check whether within-scale correlations correlations between two items in the same scale exceed between-scale correlations correlations between an item of a given scale and an item of a distinct scale. Discriminant validity is established when the value 1. Furthermore, once demonstrated for a given sample, the reliability of a scale cannot simply be assumed to hold universally since it is a situational indicator of the effectiveness of the measurement instrument Nunnally, and it must be demonstrated a posteriori for every sample to which it is administered.
As for concurrent validity, Smith argues that researchers can demonstrate it by regressing 'dimensions' derived from factor analysis onto overall assessments of the construct rated on a separate scale. Smith also reports that concurrent in fact, he means predictive validity is sometimes demonstrated by the ability of the scale to predict responses to questions or future behavior.
Such a test could be conducted for different versions of the scale of the construct to see which seems to show greater concurrent or predictive validity, and also for different versions of the overall scores. A chi-square statistic and several fit indexes can be used to test whether the measurement model fits the data well. The contribution and significance of the individual formative indicators can also be assessed after the model is empirically validated.
However, one should consider whether some dimension of the construct related to such indicators would no longer be represented - in this case, either a reconsideration of theory or a new sample ought to be sought. External validity the degree of generalizability of the relationships across populations, respondents, settings, situations and times; Hinkin, ; MacKenzie, should also be assessed, both from theoretical reasoning and empirical replication in order to determine the limits of the concepts applicability and usefulness.Desi Vs Others ( Relationship Ki Kahani ) - Amit Bhadana
Generalization should also include a test of cross-national equivalence in terms of factorial similarity, factorial equivalence, and full metric equivalence Singh, Although there does not seem to be a standard all-purpose framework for measuring export performance, a generic analytical framework for the characterization of the export performance phenomenon was presented here.
The proposed classification scheme is expected to serve as a general guideline for researchers to make explicit their research designs and to draw a parsimonious set of performance dimensions and indicators that better fit their specific purposes.
- The relqual scale: a measure of relationship quality in export market ventures
As the review of empirical works has shown, there seems to be a lack of continuous and complementary efforts to develop a robust measurement model and to assess the quality of measurement instruments in export performance research, with different researchers advancing their own conceptual framework not always adequately justified and their own operationalization of the construct.
Consequently, comparability among studies is impaired. This article advanced an operational measurement model that improves over other frameworks employed in empirical research to date, not only in terms of content validity domain samplingbut also in terms of the relationships between the construct and its indicators. A suggestive short list of validation guidelines was also presented. Matthyssens and Pauwels argue that "when studying success determinants in export marketing, a valid and reliable measure of export performance is critical" p.
Therefore, robust conceptualization and operationalization of the determinants of export performance should also be sought. In Shoham's words: