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Moral Integrity and Relationship Commitment: An Empirical Examination in a Cross-Cultural Setting

Fuan Li (), Sixue Zhang () and Xuelian Yang ()
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Fuan Li: William Paterson University
Sixue Zhang: University of International Business and Economics
Xuelian Yang: Qingdao University

Journal of Business Ethics, 2018, vol. 151, issue 3, 785-798

Abstract: Abstract The impact of integrity on organizational and/or interpersonal relationships is well documented in the literature but its influence on customer relationships such as consumer trust and relationship commitment has been largely overlooked. The present study attempts to fill this research gap by examining the effect of integrity on consumer relationship commitment in a cross-cultural setting. Survey data from the United States and China were used to test the hypothesized relationships. The results show that integrity has significant impacts on both consumer trust and relationship commitment, and culture significantly moderates the effect of integrity on consumer commitment. Specifically, integrity was found to affect American respondents’ relationship commitment both directly and indirectly with the direct effect being greater and the indirect effect being smaller relative to those of Chinese respondents. In contrast, integrity had only indirect effect on relationship commitment with Chinese consumers, highlighting the importance of consumer trust in the integrity-commitment relationship. The implications for research and business practice were discussed.

Keywords: Integrity; Consumer trust; Relationship commitment; Culture; Morality; Cross-cultural; Research (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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