Reflective and formative metrics of relationship value: a commentary essay
The Journal of Business Research special issue (61/12) covers controversy about formative versus reflective model specification. This essay comments on that special issue and illustrates specific points relating to the controversy by discussing recent studies of business-to-business relationship value, comparing their differing specifications, and noting that the variations of specification result from quite distinct conceptualizations. The essay makes the more substantive conclusion that the differences in conceptualization result from more than one underlying streams of research and that each stream is conceptually quite distinct and needs to follow its own direction for future research. The specific case of relationship value illustrates the broad necessity for researchers to consider in-depth how they conceptualize models. Other research areas have distinct research streams that lie behind different conceptualizations and specifications that researchers must nurture explicitly if useful ontology is to develop effectively.