To read this content please select one of the options below:

Customer‐supplier integration forms in the air‐conditioning industry

Andrea Furlan (Department of Economics, University of Padova, Padova, Italy)
Pietro Romano (Department of Electrical, Managerial and Mechanical Engineering, University of Udine, Udine, Italy)
Arnaldo Camuffo (Department of Economics, University of Padova, Padova, Italy)

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X

Article publication date: 1 July 2006




This paper explores what suppliers and customers do in order to integrate their operations across the supply chain. It also identifies on what contextual factors these specific CSI practices are contingent.


The paper uses the multiple case study methodology as a basis for theory formulation. Insights from nine cases of OEM‐supplier relationships in the Italian high precision air conditioning industry are used to address the research questions and formulate theoretical propositions.


The paper develops four theoretical propositions derived from a framework that identifies four CSI forms contingent on two contextual variables – the value impact of goods purchased from each supplier and the degree of purchasing goods customization.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides a framework that advances the understanding of effective supplier relations management in two ways. Firstly, it gets over the traditional dichotomy between arm's length relationships and strategic partnerships by identifying a more articulated typology of CSI forms. Secondly, it characterizes each of the four CSI forms in terms of the practices buyers and suppliers apply to manage four key business processes.

Practical implications

The paper provides a template to configure integration in customer‐supplier relations and suggests the different mix of integrative practices business partners should use in diverse supply chain environments.


The proposed framework improves existing theory that either considers one single aspect of customer‐supplier relations (i.e. pricing, logistics, or new product development) or interprets interfirm collaboration as a single dimension phenomenon.



Furlan, A., Romano, P. and Camuffo, A. (2006), "Customer‐supplier integration forms in the air‐conditioning industry", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 17 No. 5, pp. 633-655.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles