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Exporting has become a very importance part of the business in this globalization era. As world market becoming a single market due to globalization of business, exporting has become a crucial firm strategy for international expansion (Souse, Ruzo, and Losada, 2010). Dramatic globalization of business occurs due to increasing trade policy liberalization, stability in monetary transactions, regional economic integration, convergence of customer preferences, and technological advances (katsikeas, samiee, and Theodosiou, 2006). Exporting activities is importance from the view point of both nations and firms. Also, the importance of exporting lies in the substantial benefits that can be gained from these activities for both governments and corporations.
To the government, it contributes to the economic development of the nation, influences the amount of foreign exchange reserves as well as the level of imports a country can afford. It is also to shape up public perceptions of national competitiveness. Additionally, exports enhance societal prosperity and help national industries to develop, improve productivity and create new jobs.
To the firm, exporting provides an opportunity for firms to become less dependent on the domestic market. By serving new customers abroad, the firm may achieve economies of scale and achieve lower production costs while producing more efficiently (Luis Filipe Lages and David B. Montgomery, 2002). Also, exporting contributes to improved innovation and performance, enhances managerial skills and capabilities, diversifies business risks accruing from domestic market activity, facilitates better utilisation of organisational resources, and increases the company's financial position (Bradley, 1995; Katsikeas et al., 2000; Terpstra and Sarathy, 1994).
In summary, exporting may assume an important role within the firm as a means of reducing production costs, stabilizing cyclical demand, reaching new markets and gaining experience for other forms of internationalization (Czinkota, 1994; 2002, (see www.house.gov/smsbiz))
Background of the study
The study encompasses the relationship variable that gives an impact to agent's satisfaction. As many previous studies had deduced the findings and the conclusion on relationship variables impacting export performance, this study provides a different angle on the export performance perspectives. Besides a contribution to the export marketing literature on importer-exporter relationship, this research seeks to explore the moderating effects of market commitment towards the relationship components of agent's responsiveness, communication quality, and agent's involvement on agent's satisfaction. Relationship that gives satisfaction on the agent/distributor/importer will in return enhance export performance.
1.3 Problem statement/Research gap
Relationship capabilities are a set of intangible assets that reflect a series of interactions occurring between the interrelated parties involved in the export venture relationship-namely, the degree of importer involvement, communication quality of the relationship, long-term relationship orientation, and information sharing between the firm and customers (Lages, Silva, and Styles 2009). Relationship components of these capabilities with market commitment as to moderate the impact on agent's satisfaction or international market satisfaction are under-researched.
Many researchers have explored the variables influencing export performance as mentioned above; however, contributions related to assessing exporting from a relational paradigm perspective are very rare. Most export performance research has focused on firms' marketing strategies and market environment factors (Styles and Ambler 2000; Aaby and Slater 1989; Katsikeas et al. 2000; Diamantopoulos 1999; Shoham et al. 2003). However, the international aspects of relationships between actors in international markets, such as exporters and their buyers (e.g. distributors and agents), have been under-researched. Only a few studies have integrated relationship marketing theory with export performance or the internationalisation process (e.g., Leonidou and Kaleka 1998; Leonidou 2004).
Despite the many researchers registered their interest in the topic, still new researches are trying to accommodate the in-depth findings in line with the earlier research contributors. Among other flaws that were detected from the previous study that have been published throughout the academic world are a lack of clarity in terms of the nature of relationship marketing in the international context, a further lack of understanding as to how marketing strategy can influence the approach taken to relationship marketing in the international context, and limited evidence as to the link between relationships and export performance (Merrilees, Tiessen, and Miller 2000).
Therefore, studying the relationship satisfaction that also behaves in agent's satisfaction as in international context perspective or importer or distributor in foreign country where the business relations begin really needs attention.
1.4 Research Objective
Exporter-importer relationships are particularly importance because exporting has become a crucial means for countries to achieve the goals of economic growth and prosperity. Export provides a way to help countries improve their balance-of-payment, trade deficit, employment rate and standard of living, many governments in emerging economies have developed plans to encourage more export activities of the countries (Racela, Chaikittisilpa, and Thoumrungroje 2007).
The purpose of the study is to investigate the influence of market satisfaction on export performance with the impending impact of relationship components on agent's satisfaction. Relationship components consist of three components of customer responsiveness, communication quality, and agent's involvement. Customer responsiveness refers to the firm's ability to respond quickly to customer needs and wants (Carlos, souse, Ruzo and Losada 2010). This study chose customer responsiveness due to its growing evidence that it is a key element of a firm's marketing capabilities that influence the firm's performance (Jayachandran, Hewett, and Kaufman 2004; Krasnikov and Jayachandran 2008). In other word, the firm's capability to respond to customers' requests has been considered a key determinant and critical to the success of the firm (Jayachandran, Hewett, and Kaufman 2004). Hence, this study includes a firm's customer responsiveness (i.e., its ability to respond quickly to customer needs and wants) as the strategic variable in the model. Responsiveness can be viewed as value creation for the customer (Narver and Slater, 1990a, b, pg. 21). As the objective of this component is to create value for customers, importers can expect involvement from their overseas distributor in such activities as the production process, quality control and inspection and product design of the exporter. Similarly, exporters may be involved in the distributor's operational process such as level of storage, decisions related to physical distribution, and warehousing. Hence, market orientation behaviors provide the necessary conditions for exporters to cooperate more with overseas distributors.
Agent's involvement: the study defines importer involvement as the capability of the exporter to maintain close contact with the importer and to solve quality problems efficiently through constant feedback (Flynn, Schroeder, and Sakakibara 1994).
Communication quality of the relationship evaluates the extent to which there is a permanent interaction between members of both sides of the dyad in charge of strategy (Menon, Bharadwaj, and Howell 1996).
The concept of relationship closeness/distance has received little empirical examination in the literature, with the exception of Nielson (1998), who found commitment and relationship-specific assets as antecedents of closeness and joint working and information sharing as consequences. To date, the issue of relationship closeness/distance has not been examined in an export context.
Capabilities have been a central theme of international marketing research (Knight and Cavusgil 2004; Yalcinkaya, Calantone, and Griffith 2007; Zou, Fang, and Zhao 2003). Although recent studies have recognized that a wide range of capabilities is required to create value, sustain competitive advantage, and achieve superior profitability (Fang and Zou 2009; Song, Nason, and Di Benedetto 2008), there is little empirical evidence of the strategic impact of capabilities on export commitment or their consequent impact on export performance.
The objectives of this paper are two-fold. Firstly is to seek a comprehensive understanding of how to manage business relationships with international counterparts or agent successfully. Secondly, to investigate the impact of the three relationship components discuss above on agent's satisfaction that possibly translates to enhancing export performance. This study also contributes to existing knowledge by investigating the moderating effects of market commitment on the relationship between relationship components of customer responsiveness.
Hence, this study explores the specifics of the international/export context of relationship marketing and its components in business-to-business (B2B) markets. This study argues that when firms build on the establishment of solid relationships with their customers or importers or agencies it is always dependent on export commitment or market commitment to realize their full satisfactions, which in turn leads to enhancement of export performance.
2.1 Literature review
There are many literatures discussing about the role of relationship components affecting export performance in the context of agent's satisfaction. There is also a study on the impact of relationships and their components on the export performance (BrenÄiÄ, Ekar, and Virant 2008) that resulted in most relationship components (e.g., cooperation, market knowledge, commitment, trust) influence export performance positively. The role of relationships and networks has been advocated by a number of papers in international marketing. Johanson and Vahlne (1990) are among the many contributors of these papers. Other related papers are by Rosson and Ford (1982), Madsen (1988) and Bello and Williamson (1985).
The field of export performance as dependent variables has been researched by many researchers of various backgrounds with relative literatures which among others ranging from international business and international marketing perspective including export literature, management literature to psychological literature. The vast exploration of the variables has evolved many related studies with important findings. Authors (Bilkey and Tesar 1977; Johannson and Vahlne 1977; Shoham et al. 2003; Leonidou, Katsikeas and Samiee 2002; Lages and Montgomery 2004) have explored the variables influencing export performance, including the environment (market attractiveness and psychic distance), firm characteristics (e.g., export commitment, quality, resources, size, international experience, and knowledge/information), and marketing strategy (e.g., Cavusgil and Zou 1994; Shoham1998; Katsikeas et al. 1996; Ortega 2005; Toften 2005). A literature review shows that relationship research has focused mostly on buyer-seller relationships in domestic markets (e.g., Morgan and Hunt 1994). Only in the late 1990s were relationship concepts incorporated into research in an international, predominantly export context (Lee 1998; Leonidu and Kaleka 1998) with export performance being a dependent variable (e.g., Styles and Ambler 1994, 2000). Leonidou (2002) concluded that export management is a process of managing relationships with foreign customers and parties operating inside or outside the company's supply chain. A balanced portfolio of relationships is an important goal in export markets (Leonidou and Kaleka, 1998), a concept first introduced by Hakanson (1982) and Ford (1980). Accordingly, research variables should be viewed as determinant factors that put influence on export performance and firm internationalization.
As marketing theory and practice have shifted towards building long-term relationships with trading partners, the relationship marketing paradigm has assumed center stage within the discipline (Racela, Chaikittisilpa, and Thoumrungroje 2007). In addition to domestic research, an increasing number of recent studies on relationship marketing have been undertaken in international contexts (Bello et al., 1991; Ford, 1984; Ha et al., 2004; Habib and Burnett, 1989; Holm et al., 1996; Van Bruggen et al., 2005). The introduction of the interaction approach to the marketing literature by the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Group (1982) has shifted greater attention to the industrial buyer-seller relationship and in the international context of the exporter-overseas distributor relationship. The interaction approach recognizes business relationships as being comprised not only of resources exchange (i.e. products/services, money, and information), but also of social exchanges from interpersonal contacts between individuals filling various roles in the seller (exporter) and buyer (overseas distributor) organizations. While some researchers have attempted to study the relationships between exporter and overseas distributor with the emphases on other variables (i.e. structure and strategy), and performance (Evangelista, 1996; Leuthesser et al., 1995; Llanes and Melgar, 1993), the relationship between parties and its outcomes has received very limited attention (Evangelista, 1996). Thus, there is a need to investigate the dyadic relationship in export marketing (Balabanis et al., 2004).
Furthermore, from the traditional marketing mix point of view, many scholars have conducted empirical research on the relationships and influences of different variables on export performance of the firm. For example, pricing strategy (Cavusgil and Zou, 1994; Koh, 1991), country-of-destination (Sriram and Manu, 1995), firm size (Bonaccorsi, 1992; Samiee and Walters, 1990), export marketing research and information utilization (Souchon and Diamantopoulos, 1996), promotion (Madsen, 1989), product strategy (Cavusgil and Zou, 1994), distribution channel (Koh, 1991; Rosson and Ford, 1982), and marketing mix standardization (Aulakh et al., 2000). For a more extensive review, see Aaby and Slater (1989) and Evangelista (1996).
BrenÄiÄ, Ekar, and Virant (2008), used Styles and Ambler's (2000) model (S-A model) to analyze the influence of relationship variables vis-à-vis their influence on export performance and firm internalization with a commitment to two key drivers: the market (country) and the relationship with the distributor. Market commitment is defined as commitment to international markets. This definition is in-line with BrenÄiÄ, Ekar, and Virant (2008). However, Market commitment, as defined by these authors, is based on knowledge of international markets, influenced by experiential and objective data collection (experiential and objective knowledge), that is the original components of S-A model. The study by these authors investigate the direct-link of market commitment to the export performances.
Rosson and Ford (1982, p. 70) studied manufacturer overseas distributor relations and found that the most successful ones are those where the parties are prepared to adapt their roles and routines and display commitment to developing the business.
In the export performance literature, this has led to theory development and empirical studies examining the importance of various dimensions of exporter-importer relationships to performance (e.g., Styles, Patterson, and Ahmed 2008).
2.2 Theoretical framework
The premise underlying the preparation of this research lies in the basis of the elements that characterize the relationship components of responsiveness, communication quality, and agent's involvement. Together with market commitment as a moderator, this research focuses on its moderating effects on the 3 chosen variables above on export performance. The dependent variable which is agent's satisfaction moderates by market commitment on the three independent variables of relationship components chosen would serve as the framework for this research.
The capabilities of the relationship components are critical for superior performance because, by managing customer relationships and being more responsive to customer needs, firms increase their ability to generate tangible benefits, such as effective customer acquisition and retention (Krasnikov and Jayachandran 2008).
Studies have found that a firm's ability to form and maintain relationships is a factor that contributes to the success of collaborative ventures (Dyer and Singh 1998). In an international partnership setting, this ability is considered a core competence (Phan, Styles, and Patterson 2005). In exporting, relationship capabilities include an exporter's ability to share information, communicate, and develop long-term relationships with importers and distributors (Lages, Lages, and Lages 2005).
When both parties of a relationship are involved in problem solving, this increases the probability of reaching a mutually satisfactory solution (Mohr and Spekman 1994).
Prior studies have confirmed that one of the benefits of a long-term commitment in a channel relationship is the enhancement of business performance (Anderson and Weitz 1992; Weitz and Jap 1995), and Racela, Chaikittisilpa, and Thoumrungroje (2007) find that greater cooperation between exporters and their main distributor also leads to enhanced export performance.
Relationships that allow for the joint performance of activities are critical in the exporting arena because of the involvement of both partners (Achrol, Reve, and Stern 1983; Jaworski 1988; Skarmeas and Robson 2008).
Relationship performance helps assess the establishment and maintenance of good relationships with the importer in the foreign market (Cavusgil and Zou 1994). Thus, relationship performance refers to the extent to which the importer is loyal, the extent to which there is a solid relationship with the exporter, the extent to which the company is well perceived, and the importer's overall satisfaction with the product/service offering.
A critical challenge in international business is to prevent the dissolution of relationships to avoid significant losses (Zhang, Griffith, and Cavusgil 2006). Lages, Silva, and Styles 2009 measured relationship components' capabilities as a higher-order construct that includes four reflective scales: importer involvement, communication quality of the relationship, long term relationship orientation, and information sharing. Long term relationship orientation is critical to sustain competitive advantage and develop a mutual dependence of outcomes in such a way that joint relationship outcomes are expected to profit from the relationship in the long run (Ganesan 1994). Finally, the study defines importer involvement as the capability of the exporter to maintain close contact with the importer and to solve quality problems efficiently through constant feedback. This definition is supported by Flynn, Schroeder, and Sakakibara 1994.
From the discussion above a construct of conceptual framework represent this study is drawn on Figure 1, to show the causal relationship of the relationship component variables that moderate by market commitment on agent's satisfaction, thus export performance.
Figure 1. Proposed conceptual framework
2.3.1 Responsiveness to customer's needs
A firm's agent's responsiveness, or its ability to respond quickly to customer needs and wants, is critical for sustained success. In today's fast-changing environment, customer needs are continuously evolving. This implies that to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage, a firm should monitor and respond effectively and quickly to changes in customer needs (Day 1994). Firms that are more responsive to their customer needs are more likely to achieve a more loyal and sustainable customer base (Jayachandran, Hewett, and Kaufman 2004; Krasnikov and Jayachandran 2008; Sinkula, Baker, and Noordewier 1997).
Losada, Ruzo, and Sousa 2010, found that customer responsiveness had a significant and positive impact on the export performance of the firm. This is also consistent with other studies that find customer responsiveness to be positively related to the performance of the firm (e.g., Jayachandran, Hewett, and Kaufman 2004; Martin and Grbac 2003).
Therefore the study hypothesizes that:
H1: Responsiveness to agent needs is positively related to agent satisfaction leads to agent's satisfaction, thus enhance export performance
2.3.2 Communication with agent
Communication quality of the relationship evaluates the extent to which there is a permanent interaction between members of both sides of the dyad in charge of strategy (Menon, Bharadwaj, and Howell 1996)
In this context, the study hypothesizes that:
H2: The quality of communication is positively related to agent satisfaction, hence export performance
2.3.3 Agent's involvement
Relationships that allow for the joint performance of activities are critical in the exporting arena because of the involvement of both partners. (Achrol, Reve, and Stern 1983; Jaworski 1988; Skarmeas and Robson 2008). A solid relationship with the importers will provide experiential knowledge about export markets, which helps convert tacit knowledge into explicit knowledge in ways that lead to better understanding of the international market for the exporter and local market for the importer or agent. Therefore the study hypothesizes that:
H3: Agent's involvement (importer's involvement) in an export venture is positively related to agent's or importer's satisfaction.
2.3.4 Market commitment
The definition denotes by BrenÄiÄ, Ekar, and Virant (2008) in the literature review above, as the exporter-importer commitment to international markets, this study is investigating the relationship between this commitments with agent's satisfaction on the direct linkage, as well as its moderating effects of the three chosen relationship components that has been discussed to agent's/importer's/distributor's satisfaction, thus increase export performance. Therefore, the study hypothesizes that:
H4: There is a positive relationship between firm's market commitment and agent's/importer's satisfaction
H5: Market commitment mediates the relationship between agent's responsiveness and agent's satisfaction
H6: Communication quality mediates the relationship between agent's responsiveness and agent's satisfaction
H7: Agent's involvement mediates the relationship between agent's responsiveness and agent's satisfaction
The revised framework with moderating effect will be drawn once the complete analysis is completed.
3.1.1 Data Collection
The proposed study data is collected using a sample of exporting firms from Malaysia. The sampling frame will be based on the SMEs operating in Malaysia that have an exporting partner/agent in foreign country. This study will use a multi-industry sample to increase observed variance and reinforce the generalization of the results based on Morgan, Kaleka, and Katsikeas (2004). A structured questionnaire that begins with a comprehensive review of the literature in the area of research will be developed. Few academic experts with knowledge in export performance, relationship components, international marketing, and market behavior will be selected to assess the content validity of the questionnaires or pretest the questionnaires, before the revised version is re-developed. Questionnaires will be distributed to about 50 firms with export managers hold the responsibility in exporting or operation that interacts with the agents or in-charge of agents' portfolios. A specific section of the questionnaire asked respondents for their job title and assessed their competency in terms of knowledge of, involvement with, and responsibilities in exporting. This is to ensure the validity of the data source. Single export venture unit will be used as the unit of analysis (single product or group of products) following Lages, Jap, and Griffith 2008; Morgan, Kaleka, and Katsikeas 2004. Single key informant in each firm will be selected to comment on its export activities as the use of knowledgeable informant can reduce the potential for systematic and random sources of error (Huber and Power 1985).
If there is a common method bias, we will conduct two-test to determine the extent of variance.
Customer responsiveness is measured using based on various measures in the extensive market orientation literature (Hooley 2000; Jayachandran, Hewett, and Kaufman 2004; Kohli, Jaworski, and Kumar 1993). This study will use the following:
Frequent measurement of customer satisfaction
Quick to respond to the needs of the customer, and
Quick to adapt products to the needs of the customer.
Communication quality is measured using the following:
Continuous interaction during exporting process and follow up
Team members openly communicated during exporting process and follow up
Extensive formal and informal communication about matters relating to exporting
Agent's involvement is measured on the following:
Frequently in close contact with this importer
Agent gives us feedback on product quality
Agent gives us feedback on product delivery
As for market commitment, the key questions will be:
Extent of resource allocation in marketing/exporting of most important product
Management commitment to market most important product
Extent of formal planning for most important product
Extent of resources allocation in exporting/international marketing in general
Field questionnaires for agent's satisfaction among others are:
How satisfied are you with the:
Export sales of this product or product group
Export profit margin on this product/product group
In the nutshell, the entire questionnaires are related to the main suppliers and buyers in the most important relationship/market/satisfaction combination.
All the questionnaires will answer the research questions of
"What are the impacts of relationship components (agent's responsiveness, quality communication, and agent's involvement) have on agent's satisfaction so as to enhance export performance moderated by market commitment?"
In addition to the variables specified in our theoretical model, the study will include the manager's international experience as a control variable. Previous research suggests that a manager's experience has an impact on the firm's customer responsiveness (Franke and Park 2006) and the export performance of the firm (Sousa, Martinez-Lopez, and Coelho 2008). We measured manager experience by asking respondents to indicate the number of years they had been working with foreign markets.
After obtaining the corresponding information, the data will be analyzed. Factor analysis will be carried out to suggest the relationship quality in international marketing concept. The link between agent/customer relationship factors and export success can also be approached using multiple regression analysis. For this exercise agent's satisfaction was chosen as the dependent variable. This has been measured based on three variables as discussed above. These variables will be linked with overall export success. Beta coefficient of these variables will gauge the determinants of relationship components on agent's satisfaction.
The conceptual application will be mostly on the international marketing relationship theory which emphasizes customer retention and satisfaction, rather than a dominant focus on sales transactions. As a practice, Relationship Marketing differs from other forms of marketing in that it recognizes the long term value of customer relationships and extends communication beyond intrusive advertising and sales promotional messages. Relationship Marketing is a broadly recognized, widely-implemented strategy for managing and nurturing a company's interactions with clients and sales prospects. It also involves using technology to organize, and synchronize business processes.
As for market commitment, RBV approach will be used to measure market commitment with all the relational variables to relationship components. This approach will be chosen as the RBV builds on assumptions that strategic resources are distributed heterogeneously across firms and that these differences are stable over time (Lages, Silva, and Styles 2009). Firm resources include all the assets, capabilities, organizational processes, firm attributes, information, and knowledge the firm controls to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. As such, firm resource heterogeneity and immobility affect competitive advantage (Barney 1991), and that market commitment components are made of the commitment of the employees as well as employer of the firm.
3.2 Limitation of the Study and Recommendation for Future Research
This study is apparently will contribute to the export marketing literature. However, it has inevitable limitations that should constitute the starting point for further research. First, because the data on the study constructs were reported from a single questionnaire, the possibility of common method variance exists. Following Huber and Power's (1985) and Podsakoff and colleagues' (2003) advice, be reminded that the data could not be obtained without great difficulty, this study will employ various procedural remedies related to questionnaire design (e.g., protecting respondent anonymity, varying scale anchors). Also, the study will assess the possibility of common influence across all responses using Harman's one-factor test (Podsakoff and Organ 1986). Using a factor analysis, it will identify no single factor that explained variance across the items. This research also cannot rule out the existence of the common method bias completely, although two-test is going to be conducted.
Second, instead of testing the hypothesis using cross-sectional data, longitudinal study should be employed to reflect the evolution of the variables over certain time frame. This is due to data that will be collected referring to a specific moment in time, and it would be useful to carry out a longitudinal study to analyze how strategic modifications to the firm and changes in its business profile affect its current and future export commitments. In addition, the tested model does not include environmental determinants of agent's satisfactions. Further research should explore the role of external factors in explaining relationship and agent's satisfaction in export markets.
Further studies also should investigate the significance and relative importance of other moderating factors not considered in the current study which is market commitment. Although this study considered the role of market commitment as a moderating variable, other possible factors could be examined for potential moderator effects. Moreover, further research that identifies additional factors that may be affected by the other relationship components discussed would contribute greatly to the understanding and the importance relationships in the international marketing literature. For example, the impact of relationship components on the firms' commitment as a moderator to the satisfaction of the foreign market would be of interest.
The importance of relationship capabilities in exporting particularly in international marketing and generally in other various literatures that ranging from business field, engineering field to psychological field cannot be denied. This fact is supported by having numerous research contributed by numerous researchers all over the globe. Constantly, the new dependent variables relating to export performance with independent variables from macro, micro, social, economic, and from many other fields are studied continuously. Yet, the field of export performance is still rare and under-researched.
In addition, intense competition in world's market has increased the number of firms looking for opportunities in foreign markets. In fact, the race for sustaining the business in foreign markets has resorted to rapid competition among the businesses as well as the governments. This impetus of global competition between firm and nation triggered academicians all over the world to research in topics related to export performance. Therefore, based on the findings little or limited research has been done on the impact of relationship values on agent's satisfaction that could enhance export performance.
As Achrol, Reve, and Stern 1983; Jaworski 1988; Skarmeas and Robson 2008 found in their researched, relationships that allow for the joint performance of activities are critical in the exporting arena because of the involvement of both partners. Hence, relationship performance helps assess the establishment and maintenance of good relationships with the importer in the foreign market (Cavusgil and Zou 1994). Furthermore, relationship performance in which the importer is loyal, the extent to which there is a solid relationship with the exporter, the company is well perceived, and the importer's overall satisfaction with the product/service offering.
In fact, Zhang, Griffith, and Cavusgil 2006 noted that a critical challenge in international business is to prevent the dissolution of relationships to avoid significant losses. Notwithstanding all the above, long term relationship orientation is critical to sustain competitive advantage and develop a mutual dependence of outcomes in such a way that joint relationship outcomes are expected to profit from the relationship in the long run (Ganesan 1994).
Besides its contribution to existing knowledge by investigating the moderating effects of market commitment on the relationship between relationship components of customer responsiveness, this study further explores the specifics of the international/export context of relationship marketing and its components in business-to-business (B2B) markets. It is argued that study when firms build on the establishment of solid relationships with their customers or importers or agencies it is always dependent on export commitment or market commitment to realize their full satisfactions, which in turn leads to enhancement of export performance.