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Reciprocity as a key stabilizing norm of interpersonal marketing relationships: scale development and validation

Simon J. Pervan, Southern Cross University
Liliana L. Bove, University of Melbourne
Lester W. Johnson, University of Melbourne

Abstract

This study outlines the development and validation of a measure of reciprocity. The definition used to develop the measure extends traditional quid pro quo interpretations to include behavior designed to stabilize relationships in times of exchange breakdown. This includes resisting and not returning harm and making reparation for harm done. Reciprocity is positioned as an important interpersonal norm of stable marketing relationships given recent findings that relationships develop most strongly at the individual level. It is suggested that reciprocity leads to personal well-being; thus providing an additional motivation, over and above economic incentives, to develop and maintain relationships. Results of the scale development tests indicated a valid, two dimensional measure which correlated with key relational variables such as trust, commitment, satisfaction, self-esteem and reduced conflict.

Suggested Citation

Pervan, SJ, Bove, LL & Johnson, LW, 'Reciprocity as a key stabilizing norm of interpersonal marketing relationships: scale development and validation', Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 60-70.

Journal home page available at http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/505720/description#description Publisher's version of article available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.indmarman.2007.11.001