Mind the Gap: The role of psychic distance and supplier’s reputation in international buyer-supplier relationships Defended on Thursday, 16 June 2022

By taking the perspective of a buyer firm when evaluating exporting suppliers, the main goals of the present dissertation are to investigate the effects of the psychic distance on supplier selection and quality of the business-to-business relationships, and to assess whether the corporate reputation of the supplier firm can reduce the negative effects of distance. The effects of distance on importer-exporter relationship creation and quality were assessed using data from Dutch, German and North American companies, in both early and mature stages of the business relationship.

International marketing theory and practice can benefit from understanding the special characteristics of cross-border relationship building from the perspective of purchasing managers within the importing firms.  Our findings that psychic distance negatively influences the international supplier selection and quality of the importer-exporter relationships, even beyond the effect of country image, and that the reputation of the exporter acts as a protective umbrella against the negative effects of distance represent valuable contributions to both the academic community and to managers.


Psychic distance, purchasing manager, importer, exporter, corporate reputation, corporate ability, corporate social responsibility, supplier selection, buyer-supplier relationship

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