Determinants of importer commitment in international exchange: An agenda for future research

Abu Saleh, M. Yunus Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Commitment has received great attention in the inter-organisational relationship literature but there is widespread debate and contention on what constitutes its key determinants, specifically in an import supplier context. Furthermore, inconsistencies in empirical findings of the buyer–seller relationship studies limit the theoretical development and use of internationalization theories in management practice. Yet this area warrants attention as it may assist in enabling the integration of the spectrum of importer commitment in the importer–exporter relationship. Essentially, this paper integrates and synthesises over eighty conceptual and empirical studies on commitment in the buyer–seller relationship from different contexts including grounding on internationalisation process theory, resource based theory of the firm and transaction costs economics. Conceptual arguments are assessed and empirical findings are evaluated across studies with the aim of developing a framework. With the support of three basic theories and extant literature, ten antecedents of importer commitment are identified. The causal direct and some indirect relationships are specified. Seventeen propositions are offered to guide future research efforts in this important field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-205
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Management & Organization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


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