Views vary about the exact nature of relationship strength. Donaldson and O’Toole define it as ‘Both the economic ties and the social bonding of the partners: belief in the spirit of cooperation and trust … and actions taken indicate the strength of the relationship’ (Donaldson and O’Toole, 2000).In this definition, they also provide a means of measuring the quality of relationship strength. Hausman offers a broader definition: ‘Relationship strength … refers to the ties between relational partners and reflects their ability to weather both internal and external challenges to the relationship’ (Hausman, 2001).Hausman sees the economic content of the relationship as an outcome, rather than a dimension, of its strength. According to her, relationship strength comprises shared commitment, mutual trust and relationalism. In summary, Hausman proposes that relationship strength reflects the extent to which both parties will make an effort to maintain the relationship (commitment), has confidence in the other’s reliability and integrity (trust) and believes that relationships are important to the success of the organization (relationalism). Hausman further notes that relationalism consists of mutuality (the equity in the exchange relationship), solidarity (the perceptions of one party regarding the importance of their relationship with another), flexibility (the willingness/ability to alter the terms of the relationship) and duration (Hausman, 2001).