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The impact of buyer firm information connectivity enablers on supplier firm performance : A relational view

Nada R. Sanders (Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA)
Chad W. Autry (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)
David M. Gligor (The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, USA)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 16 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of buyer investment in interorganizational, information‐related connectivity enablers on supplier firm performance within the context of buyer‐seller matched dyads.


Data for this study were obtained from a field survey. A mail questionnaire was constructed that contained items measuring the five key constructs of interest. Based on the supply chain information literature and the relational view, two competing models linking the focal constructs using structural equation modeling were evaluated.


The results of the study indicate that buyer‐to‐supplier information sharing, buyer‐to‐supplier performance feedback, and buyer investment in inter‐organizational information technology are key enablers of buyer‐to‐supplier communication openness. However, only buyer‐to‐supplier communication openness plays the direct and critical role in achieving significant performance improvement.

Research limitations/implications

In this study performance is only examined from the supplier's perspective. It would be valuable to reevaluate and compare the performance outcomes from a buyer's perspective as well, or even more significantly, to compare these findings in a dyadic study where paired buyer and supplier data are collected over time to establish a pattern governing these efforts.

Practical implications

The fact that investments in the buyer‐side information resources engender supplier‐side competitiveness provides an incentive for suppliers to assist buyers in their investments in buyer‐side information resources. The study provides validation for the positive impact of such investments on supplier performance, therefore reassuring suppliers that their contribution to the dyad will pay off.


While information connectivity between buyers and suppliers has long been considered a critical enabler of buyer‐supplier integration, research had yet to explore the relationship between buyer investments in interorganizational information initiatives and supplier performance. The paper has addressed this gap.



Sanders, N.R., Autry, C.W. and Gligor, D.M. (2011), "The impact of buyer firm information connectivity enablers on supplier firm performance : A relational view", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 179-201.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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