Salespeople, Fairness, and Buyer Satisfaction: What about Emotions?

Abstract : Purpose: Although most studies focus on rational decision-making in organizational buying, this research examines the satisfaction through the integration of fairness and emotion theories. It thus broadens knowledge about the formation of satisfaction in buyer–seller relationships, through an integration of justice and emotion theories. Design/methodology/approach: A survey of 130 buyers was conducted. The test of the proposed model relied on structural equation modeling. To examine the mediating role of positive emotions, we followed the procedure proposed by Baron and Kenny (1986). That is, we compared the proposed framework against two competing models: a non-mediated model and a saturated model that featured all possible causal paths. Findings: Results show that both distributive and procedural fairness have a positive impact on buyer’s satisfaction, following two different paths: a rational path with fairness acting directly on satisfaction; and an emotional path where emotions play a mediator role. Research limitations/implications: Buyers evaluate satisfaction through an emotional lens. Business relationships are not completely rational, a consideration with importance for buying and customer relationship theory. Practical implications: Sellers must pay attention to their customer policies from the perspective of their customers. In addition to guaranteeing a “fair” outcome, sellers must ensure that buyers are subject only to procedures that customers perceive to be fair. Indeed, since buyers in business relationships are not completely rational, business-to-business (B-to-B) experts should acknowledge the influence of emotions in their sales strategies. Originality/value: The mediating impact of emotion in the fairness–satisfaction relationship has not been explored in buyer–seller settings previously. Deconstructing satisfaction with the decision process into its cognitive and affective elements, we examine the emotional dimension of B-to-B buying process.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 11:27:23 AM
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Béatrice Siadou-Martin, David Vidal, Fanny Poujol, John Tanner. Salespeople, Fairness, and Buyer Satisfaction: What about Emotions?. Journal of Business to Business Marketing, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2017, 24 (3), pp.221-233. ⟨10.1080/1051712X.2017.1345261⟩. ⟨hal-01756955⟩



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