Supply chain partnering: a temporal multidisciplinary approach

Desirée Knoppen (ESADE Business School, Universidad de Ramon Llull, Information Systems Department, Barcelona, Spain)
Ellen Christiaanse (ESADE Business School, Universidad de Ramon Llull, Information Systems Department, Barcelona, Spain)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Publication date: 20 March 2007



The aim of this paper is to develop a multidisciplinary approach towards supply chain partnering to increase sensitivity for providing more powerful explanations of this complex, dynamic and sometimes paradoxical phenomenon.


The methodology employed is conceptual theory development, grounded upon transaction cost economics, organizational design, and organization behaviour theory.


The main concerns of partnering are appropriation, coordination and adaptation. The relative importance of each concern varies depending on the partnership's stage of development. The paper argues that the different bodies of literature each emphasize a different concern. Consequently, the multidisciplinary approach developed has a temporal nature and the three mentioned bodies of literature fit in different stages with associated concerns.

Research limitations/implications

Propositions for empirical testing are developed, regarding, for example, the impact of adaptation on the risk of appropriation.

Practical implications

Understanding the interrelation between the different concerns can increase the success of a partnership.


The temporal approach contributes by drawing a full picture of supply chain partnering, which is not obtained by viewing each one of its constituting bodies of literature in isolation.



Knoppen, D. and Christiaanse, E. (2007), "Supply chain partnering: a temporal multidisciplinary approach", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 164-171.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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