This study argues that a favorable relationship (with trust and commitment) existing between two parties might not necessarily guarantee that subsequent transactions or partnerships can be stabilized. Each party in a relationship is required to conduct specific investments on behalf of the other to prevent discontinued trading or transaction relationships. Hence, this study combines relationship marketing and specific asset investment concepts within the transaction cost theory to investigate the relationship between inter-firm trust and commitment and loyalty and cooperation. By focusing on listed and over-the-counter-traded companies in Taiwan of industries that possess complete supply chains, this study collects 153 effective surveys for empirical analysis. The results show that commitment is more important than trust in a business-to-business (B2B) relationship for increasing the willingness of business customers and/or partners to participate in specific asset investments, thus increasing their loyalty and cooperation in the B2B relationship.
Journal of Business Research, Vol.68, No.11, pp.2322-2329