Towards an Integrative Framework of Relationship Quality in a Retail Setting: Evidence from an Emerging Economy


Research question: This study aims to propose and empirically examine a relationship quality model in a grocery retail setting in Serbia. Motivation: Whereas relationship quality has been extensively studied in B2B settings and in developed economies, far less research attention has been devoted to the formation and effects of relationship quality in B2C exchange relations in developing economies. This especially holds true for Eastern Eupean emerging economies and the present research aims to fill this gap. Idea: Building upon previous research in service settings, this study proposes customer orientation as an antecedent to relationship quality, comprising relationship satisfaction, customer trust and commitment to a retailer, and attitudinal and behavioural loyalty as consequences of relationship quality. Data: The study has been performed on a convenience sample of 453 grocery retail customers in Serbia, by means of structured questionnaire. Tools: Upon supporting constructs’ validity, structural equation modelling (SEM) has been applied to examine the proposed relationships. Findings: The results of the study indicate significant direct impact of employees’ customer orientation on trust and relationship satisfaction. Commitment to a retailer and relationship satisfaction emerged as direct antecedents to attitudinal and behavioural loyalty, whereas trust emerged as an indirect determinant of loyalty constructs. In terms of total effect, relationship satisfaction emerged as the most influential determinant of both facets of customer loyalty. Contribution: The findings of the study which indicate significant indirect contribution of front-line employees’ customer orientation to attitudinal and behavioural loyalty of customers provide valuable insights for HR management of retail enterprises. In addition, by addressing relationship quality construct and its antecedents and effects in a B2C setting in thus far largely under-studied context, such as an emerging European economy, this study’s findings add to the growing body of knowledge on Relationship Marketing.

Author Biographies

Jaroslav Dado, Faculty of Economics, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia

Jaroslav Ďaďo is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Economics, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. His main specialization is Marketing and related disciplines, such as Strategic Marketing, International Marketing, Marketing Communication, Brand Management. He participated in the MBA program organized with Nottingham Trent University and as a lecturer he cooperated with a number of foreign universities (in England, Poland, Turkey, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine). He has participated in a number of Slovak and international research teams and published a number of research papers and books related to Marketing Analysis, International Marketing, Services Marketing, Marketing Strategies. 

Janka Taborecka–Petrovicova, Faculty of Economics, Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia

Janka Táborecká – Petrovičová is an Associate Professor, Deputy Head of the Department of Corporate Economics and Management and a member of Scientific Committee at the Faculty of Economics, Matej Bel University, Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. Previously she worked as a module leader and consultant within the MBA study in co-operation with Nottingham Trent University. Her research interests cover areas of consumer behaviour, strategic marketing and biometric technologies. She published various papers in scientific journals in these fields and participated in many domestic and international projects and conferences. Currently she is also an editorial board member and reviewer in various international journals.

Tamara Rajic, Economics Institute a.d. Belgrade, Serbia

Tamara Rajić is a research associate at Economics Institute a.d., Belgrade. Her research focus is consumer behaviour across service industries. She received her Ph.D. from the Faculty of Organisational Sciences, University of Belgrade. Results of the studies in which she participated have been published in Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, Journal of Economics, E&M Economics and Management and presented at a number of national and international conferences.

How to Cite
Dado, J., Taborecka–Petrovicova, J., & Rajic, T. (2022). Towards an Integrative Framework of Relationship Quality in a Retail Setting: Evidence from an Emerging Economy. Management:Journal Of Sustainable Business And Management Solutions In Emerging Economies, 27(2), 47-58. doi:10.7595/management.fon.2021.0020