Intended resource inputs into customer relationships
For buyer-seller relationships to work effectively and efficiently as conduits for transmitting and integrating resources, and hence to act as value creation vehicles, each partner needs to invest in the relationship and needs to make it easy for the other partner to access their re-sources. However, as every investment is risky and it is not sure whether their aimed-at ob-jectives will be achieved, this paper addresses the question of which factors drive intention to invest into a customer relationship from a supplier’s perspective. Three main factors are iden-tified as investment drivers: first the relationship quality, second the suppliers’ expectation of future access to the important intangible resources in their customers, and third the relation-ship value perceived by the supplier. We propose that all three have a positive effect on the supplier’s intended resource inputs. After analyzing interview data from managers, the study analyzes survey data using the structural equation modeling technique and finds support for the propositions. We find that both relationship value and the expectation of future access to the resources in their customers have direct effects on suppliers’ intentions to invest. Rela-tionship quality also has a strong effect, which is mediated by the other two drivers.