The impact of culture and relational quality in the cooperation between export companies and local distributors

  • Gisela Maria Maia Alves IPAM- University European- LAUREATE
Keywords: Angola, Portugal, Exporter, Distributor, Relationship Marketing, International Marketing, Culture, Trust, Commitment and Cooperation.


This study covers the main concepts of international marketing and relationship marketing to understand the role played by culture and the quality of cooperation relations between Portuguese exporting companies and their distributors in Angola. The aim of this research is to understand how the culture and the quality of the relations affect the established cooperation between companies, in the context of the internationalization of the business. It should be emphasized that relationships characterized by trust and commitment in international contexts have been sparsely studied, as well as the impact of cultural similarities and differences in relationship structures. In methodological terms, we opted for a qualitative analysis: five case studies of Portuguese exporting companies and five case studies of Angolan distributors were analyzed. Interviews were conducted with the managers of the Portuguese exporting companies and with the collaborators responsible for export activities, as well as with the Angolan distributors, to obtain answers to the research questions. The selection of Portuguese companies was based on a list of the fifty largest Portuguese exporting companies to Angola, made available by the Portuguese Investment and Foreign Trade Agency, EPE (AICEP), in August 2011. The results show that culture, trust and commitment have an impact on the cooperation of commercial relations between Portuguese exporting companies and their Angolan distributors.

Author Biography

Gisela Maria Maia Alves, IPAM- University European- LAUREATE

Gisela Alves is a lecturer at the IPAM - European University - Laureate International Universities, in the marketing field. Coordinator of Research at IPAM Porto - European University - Laureate International Universities.  Editor of Portuguese Marketing Journal. She holds a PhD in Marketing and Strategy from the School of Economics and Management of the University of Minho in a consortium with the University of Aveiro and the University of Beira Interior, Portugal. She has many papers in relationship marketing, international marketing, brand in international refereed journals. Her main research interests are in the field of marketing.