The study aims to explore information behaviour and its potential impact on buyer‐supplier relationships in electronic reverse auction (e‐RA). In spite of the widely assumed benefits of e‐RAs, recent studies have identified negative effects of e‐RAs on buyer‐supplier relationships.
The research is based on nine interviews with automotive buyers and suppliers who use e‐RAs and 15 interviews with automotive companies who do not use e‐RAs. The interviews were analysed using the method of content analysis. The analysis process was supported relying on the qualitative software package Atlas/ti.
Overall, the results indicate that differences in information behaviour may affect buyer‐supplier relationships. Particularly the inadequate treatment of suppliers and the reduced quality of the communication proved to be the major mediating factors for negative outcomes. Also, the use of e‐RAs is believed not to be as widespread as generally assumed.
Considering the limited scope of this research, further investigation of the above topic is required incorporating several sources of data, e.g. as part of a case study approach. Also, the generalisability of the results might be improved by obtaining responses from more buyers and suppliers through a larger scale survey.
The paper suggests that the adequate consideration of context and the careful preparation of the event including strictly equal treatment of all participants and effective communication are key factors for obtaining benefits from e‐RAs.
Considering the limited evidence on how specific characteristics may affect buyer‐seller relations, this research provides a first step in opening up the e‐RA “black box”.
Lösch, A. and Siân Lambert, J. (2007), "Information behaviour in e‐reverse auctions: Purchasing in the context of the automobile industry", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 447-464. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410390710772713Download as .RIS
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