Relational exchange in US-Japanese marketing strategic alliances

Kevin E. Voss*, Jean L. Johnson, John B. Cullen, Tomoaki Sakano, Hideyuki Takenouchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - To develop and test a new model of relational exchange in marketing-oriented non-equity international strategic alliances. Design/methodology/approach - The model is tested using a sample of 97 matched dyads of US and Japanese firms in the electronics industry. The model was tested using three stage least squares. Findings - The data generally support the proposed model for both nations/cultures. The results suggest that the benevolence dimension of trust is a more important determinant of managerially assessed alliance marketing performance for the Japanese firms relative to their US partners. Research limitations/implications - While strong inferences are inhibited by the nature of our data set, our research implies that cultural sensitivity is an important determinant of the credibility and benevolence dimensions of trust and quality information exchange. Also, exchanging quality information is a strong mediator of the trust-performance relationship. Practical implications - International marketing managers should be focused on the process of developing high levels of alliance marketing performance. Our results suggest that this performance can be linked, at least in part, to the exchange of relevant, timely, important information. Information exchange in turn depends on the development of trust and cultural sensitivity in the relationship. Originality/value - This paper integrates the cultural sensitivity construct into a relational exchange model of international alliances, demonstrating the importance of being open to, and understanding of, culturally driven operational differences. The important behavioral construct we call quality information exchange is a mediator in the relational exchange model, an improvement over models that include only relational constructs such as trust and commitment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-635
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Marketing Review
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Communication
  • Electronics industry
  • Japan
  • Strategic alliances
  • Trust
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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