A glaring hole exists between academic marketing literature and anecdotal observations on the effect of\ud interpersonal ties for interfirm exchange. Academic marketing literature, economic perspective in particular, either frowns on\ud or belittles the impact of interpersonal ties for interfirm exchange. In contrast, we often hear street-smart people say that it is\ud “who you know, not what you know,” that counts for the success in business. This study aims to clarify the role of\ud interpersonal ties in interfirm exchange by examining the effect of interpersonal dependence on interfirm-level issues in\ud industrial distributor – supplier relationships. Specifically, we propose that interpersonal dependence has differential effects\ud on the elements of interfirm relationships (distributor dependence, trust, and commitment) and that, in return, these\ud exchange elements have differential effects on the efficiency of interfirm exchange. The proposed hypotheses were tested\ud with data collected through a survey of industrial distributors in the United States and Japan. The hypotheses on the effects\ud of interpersonal dependence on interfirm relational elements received a mixed support, while the hypotheses on the effects of\ud interfirm relational elements on the efficiency of exchange received support
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