A Mixed Study on Buyer-Seller Relationships in Industrial Markets (B2B): Case Study of Iran Oil Supply Chain

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Business Management, Faculty of Administrative and Economics, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

2 Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Administrative and Economics, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.

3 Associate Prof., Department of Business Management, Faculty of Administrative and Economics, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran.


Objective: The purpose of this research is to further develop a model of buyer-seller relationship in industrial markets based on the buyer’s approach in supply chain of Iran oil industry. Given the increasing competition in industrial markets (B2B), the buyer- seller relationship is considered as an appropriate model for establishing and maintaining a long-term relationship with customers.
Methodology: This mixed research is applied, fundamental, and developmental in terms of orientation. And it is a descriptive survey in terms of data collection. The qualitative phase of the present study concerns with the identification of themes and components of the buyer-seller relationship; it also includes the development of the primary and secondary parameters accordingly. In the quantitative phase of the present study and based on the literature review and results of the qualitative research, the conceptual model was developed, and then evaluated using structural equation method (partial least squares). The statistical population for the qualitative phase includes managers and purchasing experts working in companies affiliated with the National Iranian Oil Company who had at least ten years of work experience in the field of purchasing with a bachelor's degree or higher. At this stage, the snowball sampling method was used. In other words, the interviewees were asked to introduce other experts in the industry.
Findings: The results indicated the positive impact of the quality of buyer-seller relationship on the customer’s perceived value and attitudinal loyalty. Moreover, the relationship quality has a positive effect on behavioral loyalty (intention to repurchase) through the mediating rooe of attitudinal loyalty. On the other hand, the positive effect of the customer’s perceived value on attitudinal and behavioral loyalty was supported by the findings of this study. However, the direct effect of relationship quality on behavioral loyalty was not supported among industrial customers. Besdies, the negative effect of market turbulence (mediating variable) on the association between relationship quality and customer’s perceived value was also confirmed.
Conclusion: A few studies have investigated industrial marketing, especially the area of buyer-seller relationships in industrial markets. The present study contributes to the literature by developing a local model of buyer-seller relationship, its dimensions, as well as the customer’s perceived value among Iranian industrial buyers. The innovative contribution of the present study refers to the empirical examination of the impact of relationship quality and the customer’s perceived value on attitudinal and behavioral loyalty. Furthermore, market turbulence was identified and examined as an intervening variable in the buyer–seller relationship model for the first time in this study


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