Inter-firm Relationship Quality vs. Perceived Cultural Differences
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The objective of this exploratory study is to determine whether and (if so) how perceived cultural differences influence relationship quality. To make this determination this study analyzed the cooperation of 278 Polish exporters and importers with their German and Chinese partners. Indicators of perceived cultural differences by cooperating companies were created, and then linear regression models were derived, showing the dependence of relationship quality dimensions on the perceived cultural differences. The findings confirmed the impact of the cultural differences perceived by Polish partners on all dimensions of inter-firm relationship quality. However, not all the perceived differences influenced the relationships. The perception of the differences did not depend strongly on the partner’s country of origin. This study identifies new antecedents of relationship quality, which not only contribute to the international business theory but also suggests practical managerial implications. On the whole, managers can improve relationship quality if they behave similarly to their partners.