Pesämaa, O., Dahlin, P., & Öberg, C. (2018). Reduction of tension effects on partner evaluation. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 36(4), 425-439. DOI: 10.1108/MIP-11-2017-0271

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how tension management as a means of achieving compromise and overcoming minor conflicts reduces the effects of the opportunism and bargaining costs of relationships on the evaluation of business partners. The paper proposes and tests a theoretical model with a full-information approach using structural equation modeling.

Design/methodology/approach: The data set was based on 312 observations from a unique survey based on a business-to-business relationship sample in Sweden. The measurements reflect the effects of partner opportunism, bargaining costs, and tension management on partner evaluations.

Findings: The findings corroborate that partner opportunism and bargaining costs have a negative impact on partner evaluation. In addition, the model shows that tension management weakens the negative effects of opportunism and bargaining costs on the evaluation.

Originality/value: This study offers evidence on how negative effects are reduced through intervening constructs. With most studies focusing on the positive side of relationships, this paper makes an important contribution to the literature through not only describing negative effects, but also how these can be decreased.