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: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


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
Early online date1 Jun 2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Buyer-seller relationships
  • Exporting
  • Hong Kong
  • Long-term orientation
  • Opportunism


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