IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Relationships' sustainability: the case of German wheat-to-bread chain

Listed author(s):
  • Bavorova, Miroslava
  • Hockmann, Heinrich

In recent years there has been a shift in emphasis from transaction-based to more co-operative relationships, as chain members have recognised the need to invest in their supply chain relationships in order to protect their businesses. These non-arm’s-length relationships are capable of generating relational rents for chain partners. The main aim of this paper is to investigate why, in spite of the advantages of the non-arm’s-length relationships, some relationships do not continue. To enhance the understanding of the termination process, we identify and analyse the factors inducing relationship sustainability (continuation) as well as termination in the case of the German wheat-to-bread chain. The study built on the findings of relationship marketing approach that stresses the importance of building longer-term relationships with customers rather than carrying out individual transactions. In addition, the findings of modern microeconomic theories including transaction costs theory and industrial theory are taken into consideration. The empirical analysis is based on two data sets: First, a quantitative questionnaire survey and second, interviews with stakeholders of the wheat-to-bread chain were conducted, aiming at identifying the role of economic and behavioral dimensions of relationships for their termination. The questionnaire survey provides that businesses assess the relationships in the wheat-to-bread chain, being of high quality and long term duration. The results show that trust, satisfaction and commitment - the behavioural dimensions of relationships quality - are very high in the considered chain. Competitive price, competitive quality and supply continuity were identified as determinants mostly important for buyers’ satisfaction as directly influencing relationships’ performance. In addition, the results demonstrate that lack of trust is the reason why relationships do not develop or are terminated in the early phases of the relationship. In the long lasting relationships on the other hand, the reasons for termination are mostly of economic nature. The paper shows why sustainable relationships may enhance business’ competitiveness and analyses why in spite of it the relationships terminate. As the result of the research we understand the sustainable relationships as those relationships in that the costs for starting the relationship are exceeded by returns gained from the cooperation in time.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium with number 44067.

in new window

Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44067
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. Bejou, David & Wray, Barry & Ingram, Thomas N., 1996. "Determinants of relationship quality: An artificial neural network analysis," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 137-143, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ags:eaae08:44067. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (AgEcon Search)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.