Communication technology in international business-to-business relationships

Cristian Chelariu, Talai Osmonbekov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study aims to examine the antecedents and performance consequences of three types of communication technology (phone, e-mail and internet) in cross-border business-to-business relationships. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the proposed theoretical framework six hypotheses are advanced and tested. The authors use regression analysis on data from a survey of American exporters combined with secondary data on emerging European markets. Findings: This research finds that relationship-level variables are better predictors of ICT use than country-level variables, and that ICT use impacts dyadic performance. More specifically, information exchange predicted all three communication modes, while the use of warnings predicted both inter-personal communication methods. From an institutional standpoint, the authors find that bureaucratic barriers predict both phone and e-mail communication. At the firm level, it is found that firm-level technological skills are a significant predictor for the use of internet-based data exchange. The paper also finds that increased frequency of phone and e-mail communication among dyadic partners improves performance. Research limitations/implications: Although micro-level variables are found to be more important, country variables still bring interesting insights and should not be ignored. Also, newer technologies should be explored in future research. Originality/value: The authors explore antecedents of information/communication technology (ICT) use at three levels: country or macro level, dyadic (or inter-firm relationship) level, and firm capabilities (intra-firm). At the country level, the authors move beyond infrastructure to examine the impact of institutional factors, such as government red tape. At the relationship level, the authors include trust-type social norms, but extend the analysis to incorporate the use of unilateral influence attempts, such as warnings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-33
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Business-to-business
  • Communication technology
  • Europe
  • International
  • Regression
  • Survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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