Opportunism as the inhibiting trigger for developing long-term-oriented Western exporter-Hong Kong importer relationships

Bradley R. Barnes, Leonidas C. Leonidou, Noel Y. M. Siu, Constantinos N. Leonidou

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    81 Citations (Scopus)
    17 Downloads (Pure)


    Notwithstanding the extensive literature on opportunism in buyer-seller relationships, scant empirical attention has been given to this issue in both international and Chinese contexts. Using a sample of 202 Hong Kong Chinese importers, this article highlights the harmful effect of Western exporters' opportunism on importers' long-term orientation through the intervening role of key behavioral constructs. The study confirms almost all hypothesized associations between the constructs examined, indicating that an exporter's opportunistic behavior reduces trust and generates conflict. In turn, low trust reduces commitment, and conflict impedes communication. Low levels of both commitment and communication reduce importers' satisfaction, which inhibits their long-term orientation. The importer's proactive initiation of the relationship moderates the link between opportunism and trust but not that of opportunism with conflict. The study also confirms the moderating role of importer dependence and exporters' marketing adaptation on the association of satisfaction with long-term orientation. The authors find moderating effects on this association through the Chinese constructs of renqing and mianzi, albeit in the opposite direction to that hypothesized. Journal of International Marketing

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)35-63
    Number of pages29
    JournalJournal of International Marketing
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Marketing

    User-Defined Keywords

    • opportunism
    • buyer–seller relationships
    • exporting
    • Hong Kong
    • long-term orientation


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