Relationship learning as a dimension of relationship quality: Tentative evidence from transnational buyer-supplier relationships

M. Raškovic, M. Makovec Brencic, A. Ferligoj, J.C. Fransoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


While relationship learning has been addressed in marketing theory, it has not yet been explored as a possible dimension of the second-order construct of relationship quality (RQ). This construct has so far been mostly conceptualized to consist of trust and commitment, sometimes also satisfaction; however, some see the latter more as a consequence of the former two. Additionally, while RQ and its multidimensionality have been researched in the marketing literature, this area has remained virtually unexplored in the supply and operations management literature. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the multidimensional nature of the second-order construct of RQ in a particular setting of transnational corporation (TNC) buyer-supplier relationships. Our paper aims to determine if relationship learning can be considered an important dimension of RQ, alongside trust and commitment. In our study of relationship learning, we follow Jean, Sinkovics and Kim (2010) and Jean and Sinkovics (2010), who have focused on the governance aspect of relationship learning in managing supply performance outcomes. We employ an indirect testing approach by testing RQ as a second-order reflective construct comprised of trust, commitment and relationship within a simple variance-based Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Our results confi rm that relationship learning is an important dimension of the second-order construct of RQ. This was done on a tentative sample of 11 TNC purchasing managers and 55 evaluated suppliers, albeit with some research limitations which we acknowledge. Our research calls for additional cross-validation of our tentative results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalTržište / Market : Review for Marketing - Theory and Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


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