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Personal relationship and conflicts in supply chains: Exploration of buyers and suppliers in Australian manufacturing and service sector

Atif Saleem Butt (American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates)
Ahmad Bayiz Ahmad (Department of Public Administration, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China) (Department of Administration, University of Raparin, Ranya, Iraq)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 10 June 2019

Issue publication date: 13 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand conflicts that emerge between managers of buying and supplying firms when a personal relationship (friendship, etc.) is present between them in the supply chain context.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a case study methodology and relies on data obtained from 30 qualitative interviews with managers of buying and supplying firms, having a personal relationship within inter-firm relationships to promote the interest of the firm.

Findings

Results from this study reveal conflicts between managers of buying and supplying firms due to the presence of a personal relationship between them. Specifically, results suggest that managers face ego conflict, supplier’s selection conflict and conflict on accepting late deliveries when they rely on personal relationships, which are themselves embedded within inter-firm relationship.

Research limitations/implications

This study has some limitations. First, this study examines behavioural patterns in Australian cultural context. Second, results of this study are not generalizable to a broader population.

Practical implications

Firms can use the findings to understand conflicts, which arise between managers of buying and supplying firms, as a result of a personal relationship between them in the supply chain.

Originality/value

This is, perhaps, the first study contributing to the supply chain relationship literature by unveiling conflicts between managers of buying and supplying firms, when a personal relationship is present between them.

Keywords

Citation

Butt, A.S. and Ahmad, A.B. (2019), "Personal relationship and conflicts in supply chains: Exploration of buyers and suppliers in Australian manufacturing and service sector", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 26 No. 7, pp. 2225-2241. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-02-2019-0067

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited