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EMAC 2023 Annual

B2B relationships are not perceived equally: a cross-cultural perspective from France, Germany, the UK and Turkey

Published: May 24, 2023


Claire McLaughlin, Toulouse Business School; Yanyan CHEN, Toulouse Business School


It is essential to have a good quality relationship with business partners to expand their influence globally. However, culture affects how people understand and perceive a relationship, so misunderstandings can occur when perceptions differ. This study seeks to understand the differences in perceptions of B2B relationship quality and the components of trust, commitment and satisfaction in business interactions in France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Turkey. 18 in-depth interviews were conducted in companies in the aviation and aerospace industries. Although all four countries agree on the importance of developing a business relationship with a partner, the findings demonstrate some key differences in what is valued in the relationship building process. Awareness of the different mindsets in when it comes to business relations with other cultures means understanding how to create the optimal relationship to achieve the best possible outcomes for both parties. Directions for future research could investigate other national perceptions of relationship quality and how the company culture may have an impact on business interactions.