Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE credits
Research in international trade situations has mainly focused on understanding the exporter’s actions and has showed ways on how these can be optimized. Although the importer in most cases, until this day, has been left outside this focus, it has been showed that the importer often is the active participant in an international dyad. It is the importer who is actively seeking suppliers for its production or distribution. Based on previous research in the area, the following study identifies the factors that are vital to the importer for satisfactory relations. The identified categories are situational, resource based, and interaction based factors. In four case studies of Swedish importers of German machinery and tools, these determinants are tested and classified, based on importance, from the importer’s perspective. Finally, in an overview, exporters are given an insight into how the importer perceives the relation to its suppliers, and advice is given on how this relation can be improved. It is shown that, according to importers, interaction and resource based factors are considered the largest influencers on the exporters’ willingness to adapt to the importer. Although all factors, such as cultural differences and international experiences, have some influential value, an optimized information exchange could largely contribute to an improved relation between exporter and importer. To improve long-term relationship satisfaction, exporters are advised to not only ensure a generally high satisfaction level within the trade relation, but also to hold a high frequency of personal meetings between the trade partners, and to increase contact intensity and improve content of these meetings over the course of the relationship.