Nigerian SMEs - Commitment and Loyalty to their Retail Banks

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Abstract

Purpose: Commitment in underpinning long‐term business relationships is well established. Limited research exists involving relationships between SMEs and banks. The paper presents an instrument to assess such relationships and is evaluated for validity and reliability with reference to the Nigerian SME‐banking environment. Design/Methodology / Approach: Various scale sets from existing studies are combined to assess commitment and advocacy and repurchase intention. Data was collected from 199 SMEs via interviews with owners or senior managers. Analysis involved exploratory factor analysis to determine the underlying data structure, with internal reliability assessment. Findings: Commitment is based on two components; affective and calculative, whilst advocacy and repurchase intention converged into a single factor. This SME‐bank relationship has some way to mature with the banks affording only modest financial support, although SMEs' commitment and levels of loyalty appear relatively strong. Originality / Value: The findings provide initial insight into this relationship within the SME‐bank context from the SME perspective. Originality lies in the validation of commitment and behavioural intention constructs within this business arena and geographical location, as well as engaging with smaller organisations rather than their larger counterparts in the consideration of bank performance.

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