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Antecedents and outcomes of exporter – importer relationship quality : An exporting developing country’s context

This study explores the factors that are essential for a strong export-import relationship and sheds lights on the consequences for such relationships.

MSc in Fisheries and Aquaculture Management and Economics A. F. M. Jalal Ahamed ved HHT holdt prøveforelesning  og forsvarte sin avhandling  for graden Philosophiae doctor (ph.d.) i samfunnsvitenskap i offentlig disputas fredag 13. november.

Jens Revold 12.11.2015 12:48   (Last updated: 25.11.2015 12:51)

The PhD thesis titled ‘Antecedents and outcomes of exporter –importer relationship quality : An exporting developing country’s context’ – date of disputation 13th November 2015, has four main

Foto: Heidi Hemmingsen

objectives : 1) to investigate the effects of relationship quality on export performance and to see if and to what extent export performance is linked to exporter satisfaction and the expectation of continuing the relationship; 2) to investigate how distance and communication climate affect export performance, both directly and as mediated by relationship quality; 3) to investigate both the direct and indirect effects of TCE variables on export performance; 4) to investigate whether competitive intensity moderates the commitment–trust relationship and their links with export performance in the exporting context of a developing country. 

Based on a survey dataset collected from 185 organizations exporting ready-made garments in Bangladesh, the study draw empirical findings on structural equation modelling (SEM) using partial least squares (PLS) techniques. The thesis shows that there is a positive relationship between relationship quality and financial and strategic export performance and that financial export performance has a positive effect on exporter satisfaction. Furthermore, there is a positive effect of exporter satisfaction on the exporters’ expectations of continuing the export–import relationship. It also finds that relationship quality plays a mediating role in the relationships between distance and export performance and between the communication climate and export performance. This research proposes that in cross-border export–import relationships, distance may not be a serious problem or a critical issue if the parties can ensure strong relationship quality and a healthy communication climate characterized by a good amount of information sharing and information of adequate quality. The study shows that the influence of asset specificity and uncertainty on export performance is mediated by relationship quality. Finally, this study finds that competitive intensity moderates the commitment–trust link and its association with export performance. This study shows that exporters, especially those in emerging economies, should pay more attention to maintaining strong relationship quality with their importers to ensure higher export performance.


Foto: Heidi Hemmingsen


  • Professor Kåre Skallerud, HHT (main)
  • Professor Svein Ottar Olsen, HHT

Evaluation committtee: 

  • Professor Aksel I. Rokkan, Norges handelshøyskole (1. oponent)
  • Professor Anders Pehrsson, Linnæus University, Sverige (2. oponent)
  • Assoc. professor Gro Alteren (internal and chair of committee)

The disputation was held in English and was lead by the Dean of Tromsø University Business School, Prof. Derek Clark, Faculty of biosciences, fisheries and economics. 


AFM Jalal Ahamed, born in Bangladesh in 1976. He has completed MBA majoring in AIS at the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2005 and a Master of Science (MSc) in Fisheries and Aquaculture Economics and Management under the University of Tromsø, Norway, in Vietnam, in 2009. Currently, he is working at BINUS University International, Jakarta, Indonesia as a Subject Coordinator (International Business). His research and teaching interests include B2B marketing, relationship marketing, quantitative research methods, consumer behaviour, and entrepreneurship.

Name:          AFM Jalal Ahamed


                      Faculty of BioSciences, Fisheries and Economics /School of Business and Economics

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