Exploring Cross-National Differences in Organizational Buyers’ Normative Expectations of Supplier Performance

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Exploring Cross-National Differences in Organizational Buyers’ Normative Expectations of Supplier Performance

The authors analyze data from two cross-national studies to explore differences in organizational buyers’ normative expectations of supplier performance. These normative expectations encompass what buyers perceive as business standards or norms, regardless of product/service, supplier, or industry. The first study (four countries) pinpoints the normative expectations that help explain why managers across countries may evaluate the same supplier performance differently. The second study provides an illustrative example of these differences in a separate sample drawn from the same four countries. The inclusion of such normative expectations of supplier performance has the potential to add explanatory power to models of performance evaluation in international business-to-business relationships. The findings suggest that if differences in normative expectations of supplier performance are not taken into account, performance ratings may be distorted indicators of actual performance.