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Executive Insights: Building Successful Export Business Relationships: A Behavioral Perspective

Leonidas C. Leonidou, Constantine S. Katsikeas, John Hadjimarcou
Published 2002 · Economics

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Although the United States has been one of the leading actors in international trade, limited evidence exists as to individual U.S. company relationships with overseas customers. On the basis of a sample of 201 U.S. exporting manufacturers, the authors draw a comparison between harmonious and problematic foreign business relationships. The findings reveal that, as opposed to problematic cases, firms with harmonious relationships are more experienced, employ more people, and exhibit more active behavior toward conducting their foreign business. Such firms sell to a greater number of export markets, deal with more foreign customers, and obtain more orders. The study also shows that harmonious relationships with overseas customers are distinguished by greater dependence, trust, understanding, commitment, communication, and cooperation but less distance, uncertainty, and conflict between the parties. The article provides export management with a set of guidelines for establishing, developing, and sustaining successful export business relationships.
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