Impact of salespersons’ acculturation behaviours on buyers’ commitment
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Healthy buyer-seller relationships are seen as a source of buyers’ satisfaction, commitment and loyalty. However, creating fruitful relationships with buyers is not always simple and straightforward for salespersons, especially when they seek to establish relationships with buyers from different cultures. Given the challenging nature of intercultural interaction, it becomes imperative for salespersons to identify the behaviours that will best suit such relationships. There is much evidence that salespersons frequently adopt acculturation behaviours in order to build relationships with buyers from different cultures, however the study of acculturation behaviours, though not unknown to marketing scholars, has not been well explored in relationship marketing domains. Studies on the impact of acculturation behaviours from the viewpoint of salespersons are particularly non-existent. The present study examines the limited available literature on this subject, and attempts to develop a better understanding of the concept of salespersons’ acculturation behaviours by proposing a model that explains the relationship between salespersons’ acculturation behaviours and buyers’ satisfaction as well as commitment in the banking context. The hypotheses are empirically tested in the present study by using appropriate statistical techniques. Results of the study indicate that the hypothesised model of salespersons’ acculturation behaviours fits the data well. The hypotheses focus on four dimensions of salespersons’ acculturation behaviours: assimilation, separation, integration and marginalisation. All of these dimensions, excluding separation, show an inter-relationship among the variables of the model and are confirmed with the right significance. Separation is not examined closely within the study as by its nature it is itself exclusionary of any form of interaction with buyers. Findings from the study indicate however that integration and assimilation positively affect buyers’ satisfaction, whereas marginalisation is negatively associated with buyers’ satisfaction. The results also reveal that buyers’ satisfaction has a mediation effect on the relationships between assimilation, integration, marginalisation and buyers’ commitment. The model also includes the constructs of interaction intensity, which is positively related to buyers’ satisfaction and buyers’ commitment. This study can be considered as an important step in establishing the linkage between salespersons’ acculturation behaviours and buyers’ satisfaction and commitment. It establishes that salespersons’ acculturation is needed to perform better and create sustainable intercultural interaction.