Differentiating Indebtedness and Gratitude in the Commercial Exchange Context

Baker, B and Edwards, C, (2018) "Differentiating Indebtedness and Gratitude in the Commercial Exchange Context", Journal of Empirical Generalisations in Marketing Science, Vol. 18, No. 2

38 Pages Posted: 10 May 2018

See all articles by Brent L. Baker

Brent L. Baker

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Chase Edwards

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Department of Economics and Finance

Date Written: March 1, 2018

Abstract

Gratitude is increasingly included in the battery of precepts that explain relational exchanges. However, the literature on commercial exchanges has failed to differentiate between the similar, but distinct, measures of gratitude and indebtedness or recognize their potential for differential impacts on relationship quality and other measures of performance. This study: (1) demonstrates the need to conceptually distinguish between the constructs of gratitude and indebtedness; and (2) empirically assesses whether these constructs promote diametrically opposite influences on relational and performance constructs. Furthermore, this study exposes the different conclusions regarding the influence of gratitude drawn by social science researchers and researchers that study commercial exchange in various fields of business. Our empirical study uses strong inference positioning to reveal the theoretical uncertainty surrounding indebtedness and gratitude, and our findings reveal a series of normative implications for future theory development and managerial strategy.

Keywords: gratitude, indebtedness, contracts, business to business, b2b, business psychology

JEL Classification: M00, M1, M3

Suggested Citation

Baker, Brent L. and Edwards, Chase, Differentiating Indebtedness and Gratitude in the Commercial Exchange Context (March 1, 2018). Baker, B and Edwards, C, (2018) "Differentiating Indebtedness and Gratitude in the Commercial Exchange Context", Journal of Empirical Generalisations in Marketing Science, Vol. 18, No. 2, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3167398

Brent L. Baker

University of Louisiana at Lafayette ( email )

Lafayette, LA 70504
United States

Chase Edwards (Contact Author)

University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

Lafayette, LA 70504
United States

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