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The role of manufacturer in supply chain transformation from intransitive into transitive triads: implications for the network rent

Artur Swierczek (Department of Business Logistics, University of Economics in Katowice , Katowice, Poland)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 8 May 2019

Issue publication date: 11 June 2019

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515

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the link between manufacturer relational embeddedness, manufacturer influence and supplier-customer relational embeddedness and their resulting impact on the network rent.

Design/methodology/approach

Leveraging the theoretical lens of social exchange theory and the relational view and utilizing the survey data derived from the transitional triadic supply chains, the authors used multiple regression analysis and the partial least squares (PLS) path model. The regression analysis with interaction effects is used to indicate the network rent, while the PLS path model is applied to investigate the link between manufacturer relational embeddedness, manufacturer influence and supplier-customer relational embeddedness and their subsequent impact on the network rent.

Findings

The authors empirically establish that manufacturer relational embeddedness, as a higher-order factor, can comprise both upstream and downstream relational embeddedness. The research also demonstrates that manufacturer relational embeddedness significantly contributes to the manufacturer’s eagerness to form a direct link between the supplier and the customer, and the manufacturers report a significant ability to affect this relationship. Likewise, the study shows that supplier-customer relational embeddedness significantly and positively affects the network rent. In addition, the study implies that supplier-customer relational embeddedness is a mediator between manufacturer influence and the network rent, while manufacturer influence is a suppressor variable, which increases the negative relationship between manufacturer relational embeddedness and supplier-customer relational embeddedness.

Research limitations/implications

The research makes three key contributions. First, this study, as one of very few, simultaneously embraces context, intervention, mechanism and outcome, while investigating the role of manufacturer (its relational embeddedness and influence) in promoting supplier-customer relational embeddedness, and its resulting effect on the network rent. Further on, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirically based study that demonstrates to what extent the manufacturer is capable of fostering supplier-customer relational embeddedness, thus favoring the transposition from the intransitive into the transitive triadic supply chains. Finally, to date, the concept of network rent has been mostly conceptualized as the theoretical construct with no empirical evidence. This research offers guidance for manufacturers in managing the relationships between the supplier and the customer to yield the highest network rent.

Originality/value

This study provides a novel approach to investigating the role of manufacturer and relational embeddedness in yielding the network rent in the transitional triadic supply chains.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was financed by the National Science Centre, Poland, as a research project no. 2015/18/M/HS4/00388.

Citation

Swierczek, A. (2019), "The role of manufacturer in supply chain transformation from intransitive into transitive triads: implications for the network rent", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 445-468. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-10-2018-0341

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited