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The Impact Of Power And Relationship Quality On Value Creation and Appropriation in Buyer–Supplier Relationships

  • Saâd Mdarhri Alaoui EMAIL logo and Amine Noureddine


Business relationships provide the means to create and appropriate superior value in business markets. However, despite the proliferation of research on the phenomenon, many questions remain unaddressed. Previous work focused almost exclusively on value after its creation and its sharing between the two exchange partners. Consequently, the appropriation of value as well as its interaction with value creation remains relatively unknown. Similarly, a few studies have examined the role of relational variables and power asymmetry in customer–supplier exchange relationships. To fill this gap, this study aims to examine the influence of relationship quality and power on value creation and appropriation and ultimately, on satisfaction and relationship continuity. Based on the theory of social exchange, this study proposes a conceptual model, which positions value creation and appropriation as central variables in the nomological network of business relationships. A quantitative study of 174 suppliers was carried out in order to compare the theoretical model with the empirical reality. The results obtained show that the relationship quality promotes greater value creation and appropriation in ongoing business relationships. As for power, its influence differs depending on how it is exercised within the relationship. Moreover, the appropriation of value remains the main driver of partner satisfaction, a sine qua non condition for the continuity of the relationship. This present research contributes to a better understanding of value creation-appropriation in ongoing business relationships. By strategically managing their customer–supplier relationships, managers can create and capture greater value and gain a competitive advantage.

Appendix 1. Item formulations

Trust 1Our main customer kept promises it made to our firm
Trust 2Our main customer was always honest to us.
Trust 3We believed the information that our main customer provided us.
Trust 4Our main customer was genuinely concerned that our business succeeded.
Trust 5When making important decisions, our main customer considered our welfare as well as its own.
Trust 6We trusted our main customer keeps our best interests in mind.
Trust 7Our main customer was trustworthy.
COMMIT1The relationship with our main customer is something to which we are very committed
COMMIT2The relationship with our main customer is very important to our business
COMMIT3The relationship with our main customer is something our business intends to maintain indefinitely
COMMIT4The relationship with our main customer is very much like being family
COMMIT5The relationship with our main customer is something our business really cares about
COMMIT6The relationship with our main customer deserves our business’ maximum effort to maintain
COMMIT1In this relationship, it is expected that any information that might help our main customer will be provided to them
COMMIT2Exchange of information in this relationship takes place frequently and informally and not only according to a pre-specified agreement
COMMIT3It is expected that the parties will provide proprietary information if it can help the other party
COMMIT4It is expected that we will keep each other informed about events or changes that affect the other party
COMMIT5The communication effort between our main customer and our firm involves many inter-firm contacts
COMMIT6Exchange of information in this relationship takes place in a timely manner
CPW1Failure to comply with the requests of our main customer will result in financial and other penalties against our company.
CPW2Our main customer threatens to withdraw from what they originally promised if we do not comply with their request.
CPW3Our main customer threatens to take legal action if we do not comply with their requests.
CPW4Our main customer withholds important support for our firm, in requesting compliance with their demand.
CPW5Our main customer threatens to deal with another supplier, in order to make us submit to their demand.
NCPW1Our main customer offers specific incentives to us when we are reluctant to cooperate with them.
NCPW2Our main customer has the upper hand in the relationship due to power granted to them by the contract.
NCPW3Our main customer demands our compliance because of knowing that we appreciate and admire them.
NCPW4Our main customer use their unique competence to make our company accept their recommendations
NCPW5Our main customer partner withholds critical information concerning the relationship to better control our company.
Input supplierOur company’s contributions to the relationship
Input customerCustomer X’s contributions to the relationship
Outcome supplierThe outcomes we received from the relationship
Outcome customerThe outcomes Customer X received from the relationship
Tangible input supplierOur company’s tangible (financial and personnel) contributions to the relationship
Tangible input customerCustomer X’s tangible (financial and personnel) contributions to the relationship
Tangible outcome supplierThe tangible (financial) outcomes we received from the relationship
Tangible outcome customerThe tangible (financial) outcomes customer X received from the relationship
Intangible input supplierOur company’s intangible (know-how and patents) contributions to the relationship
Intangible input customerCustomer X’s intangible (know-how and patents) contributions to the relationship
Intangible outcome supplierThe intangible (know-how and patents) outcomes we received from the relationship
Intangible outcome customerThe intangible (know-how and patents) outcomes customer X received from the relationship
Relational satisfaction
SATISFAC1We were very satisfied with the relationship with our main customer
SATISFAC2We were pleased to work with our main customer
SATISFAC3The relationship with our main customer was very favorable for us
Relationship continuity
CONTIN1We expect our relationship with our main customer to continue for a long time
CONTIN2Renewal of relationship with our main customer is virtually automatic
CONTIN3It is unlikely that our firm will still be doing business with our main customer in two years

Appendix 2. Measurement model results

Construct name/itemsFactor loadingCronbach alphaComposite reliabilityAVE
Relationship quality0.8930.857
Coercive power0.8670.9030.652
Non-coercive power0.7390.8480.650
Value creation0.9480.9750.950
Value appropriation0.9150.9590.921
VAL SUPL10.959
VAL SUPL20.961
Relationship continuity0.8260.8960.741

Appendix 3. Discriminant validity (Cross-loading)

Value appropriationCommunicationTrustRelationship continuityValue creationCommitmentCoercive powerNon Coercive powerRelationship qualitySatisfaction
VAL SUPL 10.9590.3180.3470.4380.8080.287−0.1910.1790.3730.490
VAL SUPL 20.9610.2800.3500.4200.8540.221−0.2920.2210.3350.478
TRUST 10.2480.5080.7940.3180.3020.495−0.1470.1040.7120.424
TRUST 20.2380.3650.7250.3730.2470.467−0.3280.0880.6200.393
TRUST 20.2380.3650.7250.3730.2470.467−0.3280.0880.6200.393
TRUST 30.2740.4630.7650.2890.3210.503−0.2770.1590.6860.371
TRUST 30.2740.4630.7650.2890.3210.503−0.2770.1590.6860.371
TRUST 40.2270.3960.7280.3020.2480.355−0.2940.0950.5900.351
TRUST 40.2270.3960.7280.3020.2480.355−0.2940.0950.5900.351
TRUST 50.3110.3860.8030.2510.3280.304−0.2850.2860.6010.464
TRUST 50.3110.3860.8030.2510.3280.304−0.2850.2860.6010.464
TRUST 60.3610.4380.7940.3140.3730.431−0.2790.2590.6630.451
TRUST 60.3610.4380.7940.3140.3730.431−0.2790.2590.6630.451
TRUST 70.3020.4520.7910.1920.3060.453−0.1740.0780.6750.477
TRUST 70.3020.4520.7910.1920.3060.453−0.1740.0780.6750.477
CONTIN 10.4230.3700.3470.8890.4710.536−0.2320.1440.4840.586
CONTIN 20.4050.3390.3570.8370.4500.395−0.4060.2040.4250.438
CONTIN 30.3100.2420.2570.8540.3890.322−0.3230.0670.3190.415
VALUE 10.8450.3350.4030.4900.9750.334−0.2980.2180.4210.503
VAL UE 20.8440.3060.3650.5070.9750.293−0.3120.2400.3780.498
COMMIT 10.2220.5580.5020.4340.3040.828−0.1770.0540.7290.359
COMMIT 10.2220.5580.5020.4340.3040.828−0.1770.0540.7290.359
COMMIT 20.2480.5790.4630.3940.2750.857−0.0690.0820.7300.332
COMMIT 20.2480.5790.4630.3940.2750.857−0.0690.0820.7300.332
COMMIT 30.2120.5950.4440.4470.2980.868−0.0860.2160.7320.343
COMMIT 30.2120.5950.4440.4470.2980.868−0.0860.2160.7320.343
COMMIT 40.1930.5320.4500.3350.2390.756−0.1920.0680.6690.308
COMMIT 40.1930.5320.4500.3350.2390.756−0.1920.0680.6690.308
COMMIT 60.2200.6180.4690.4540.2190.838−0.1020.0080.7390.301
COMMIT 60.2200.6180.4690.4540.2190.838−0.1020.0080.7390.301
CPW 1−0.1380.005−0.152−0.234−0.2180.0170.7960.101−0.058−0.207
CPW 2−0.277−0.105−0.253−0.297−0.307−0.0800.8900.004−0.178−0.212
CPW 3−0.171−0.197−0.248−0.380−0.233−0.2310.7990.071−0.265−0.248
CPW 4−0.126−0.090−0.241−0.222−0.199−0.1110.7710.066−0.178−0.144
CPW 5−0.260−0.161−0.395−0.319−0.281−0.1890.777−0.035−0.300−0.382
NCPW 10.1680.1510.2850.2060.2210.143−0.1540.7710.2320.333
NCPW 30.1910.0530.0980.0940.1810.0120.1140.8330.0660.248
NCPW 40.1400.0470.0440.0680.1520.0800.2140.8180.0660.090

Appendix 4. Discriminant validity (Fornell and Larcker criterion)

Value appropriationCommunicationTrustRelationship continuityValue creationCommitmentCoercive powerNon-coercive powerSatisfactionRQ
Value appropriation0.960
Relationship continuity0.4470.3750.3770.860
Value creation0.8660.3290.3940.5110.975
Coercive power−0.252−0.139−0.326−0.363−0.313−0.1490.808
Non-coercive power0.2090.1120.1970.1640.2350.1030.0430.808
Relationship quality0.3680.8610.8450.4850.4100.868−0.2480.1640.5160.926

Appendix 5. Assessment of the reliability and validity of convergence of the global construct of relationship quality

ElementsFactor loadingFactor loading squaredError variance = 1 − Factor loading squared
Total factor loading2.5732.2070210.792979
Total factor loading squared6.620329
Total factor loading squared + total error variance7.413308
  1. aAVE = (Total factor loading/number of factor).

  2. bCR = Total factor loading squared/(Total factor loading squared + Total Error variance).

Appendix 6. Estimation of the collinearity between structural model constructs

Value appropriationRelationship continuityValue creationSatisfaction
Value appropriation1.000
Relationship continuity
Value creation1.334
Coercive power1.1541.1431.077
Non-coercive power1.0851.1241.036
Relationship quality1.2411.3851.107


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Published Online: 2019-11-28
Published in Print: 2019-11-18

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