South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences
On-line version ISSN 2222-3436
The importance of major dealers' expertise in distribution channels and effects on exchange relations is widely acknowledged by many SMEs in Africa and yet there seem to be a paucity of research on this matter. To address this dearth, the current study attempts to examine the relationship between major dealers' expert power and SME manufacturers' channel cooperation and the mediating influence of their trust, relationship commitment and satisfaction. The conceptualized model and five hypotheses are empirically validated using a sample of 452 manufacturing SMEs in Zimbabwe. The findings indicate that major dealers' expert power may influence SME manufacturers' trust, relationship commitment, relationship satisfaction and channel cooperation in a significant way. Managerial implications of the research findings are provided.
Keywords : expert power; trust; relationship commitment; relationship satisfaction; cooperation; SMEs.