Maximizing customer adoption outcomes in emerging industrial markets via supplier innovativeness and relationship quality

Publication Name

Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing


Purpose: This paper aims to examine how suppliers doing business with customers in emerging industrial markets can leverage their innovativeness to foster trust and commitment toward maximizing customer adoption behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: Based on commitment-trust theory, this research uses survey data collected from a large sample of Chinese business-to-business executives, which were then analyzed using three-stage least squares simultaneous estimation models and PROCESS. Findings: The results show that supplier innovativeness can help customers build trust in a supplier. Consequently, a reciprocal commitment is forged among customers that manifest in favorable adoption decisions, including a higher willingness to pay premium prices. Notably, this approach is beneficial when robust interfirm communications are difficult to establish. Originality/value: Innovation decisions in interfirm relationships are important for suppliers doing business in emerging markets. This is because customer adoptions in such settings can foster enduring relational market-based assets and other competitive advantages that can improve supplier performance. Unfortunately, the understanding of how interfirm relationships influence innovation-adoption decisions in emerging markets is lacking. The findings of this research shed light on how suppliers interested in entering emerging markets can interact with customer firms in such settings to maximize favorable adoption outcomes.



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