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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Jose Manuel Sanchez Vazquez, Gloria Cuevas Rodriguez and Tauno Kekale

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the partner selection/evaluation processes in established distribution channels (DCs) and the role played by control systems…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the partner selection/evaluation processes in established distribution channels (DCs) and the role played by control systems (CS) over major changes in the internal complexity and the external uncertainty of the distribution network.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a longitudinal case study of a manufacturing firm and its outsourced DC.

Findings

Over time, the manufacturer's market-focused strategy provoked the adoption through CS of more objective and formal selection processes. It was very clear in this case that while the growth of internal complexity indeed required changes towards formalisation, only the rapidly increasing environmental uncertainty in the 1990s required significantly more elaborate CS to evaluate partners.

Research limitations/implications

Original longitudinal case – limitations typical for such design of study, e.g. not possible to expand the findings out of company type and historical periods.

Practical implications

The process of selecting partners, because it is ongoing, requires a formal and active involvement from CS; no CS are indefinitely stable but must be developed whenever significant internal or environmental changes occur. The changes to counter internal complexity seem less elaborate than the changes required by external uncertainty.

Originality/value

Original longitudinal case illustrates the screening and signalling mechanisms used by both parties to provide information to each other in three different internal complexity/environmental uncertainty scenarios.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2010

Klaus Moeller

Business networks have to coordinate each of their partners' goals and expectations, as a lack of partner compatibility and goal incongruence could lead to conflict and…

3208

Abstract

Purpose

Business networks have to coordinate each of their partners' goals and expectations, as a lack of partner compatibility and goal incongruence could lead to conflict and opportunistic behavior. These potential problems highlight the relevance of partner selection as a means of minimizing opportunistic behavior by building trust in and commitment to a network that influences network performance. The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into partner selection as a management control mechanism, which controls the behavior and network performance of business network partners.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides an analysis of the effects of a well‐executed partner selection on business networks' performance. The paper further analyzes the effects of the mediating role of trust within, commitment to, and the risk of opportunistic behavior in business networks. Consequently, the paper highlights the pivotal role of partner selection in business networks as a management control mechanism.

Findings

The results provide an exploratory empirical insights into the cause‐and‐effect relationship between partner selection, partners' behavior, and network performance. Partner selection has effects on trust, opportunism, and commitment. The selection of a partner is a very important managerial control task within business networks, as appropriate selection is a threshold condition for a successful business network.

Research limitations/implications

Since the study is based on empirical data collected by individuals, it could be open to general criticism regarding the methodology of broad empirical analysis. Time‐lagging effects also remain unrevealed as the data represent only a point in time. Some effects cannot be verified indisputably, while the low variance in some of the construct results is only indicative of suggestions.

Originality/value

This paper provides insights into partner selection as a management control mechanism, which controls the behavior and network performance of business network partners.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 May 2010

Marina Z. Solesvik and Sylvia Encheva

The purpose of this paper is to apply a mathematical method of formal concept analysis (FCA) to facilitate evaluation of potential partners, and to select the most…

1471

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply a mathematical method of formal concept analysis (FCA) to facilitate evaluation of potential partners, and to select the most appropriate partner for horizontal strategic alliances. Horizontal collaboration between ship design firms is important in relation to business cyclicality in the industry. The workload in ship design firms drops during the troughs of the shipbuilding cycle and increases dramatically during the peaks of the cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed method of partnership selection applies FCA, which is based on mathematical lattice theory. FCA allows firms to evaluate and select the best suitable partners for horizontal interfirm cooperation from several possible candidate firms. Utilization of FCA allows a firm to visually analyze a potential partner for a horizontal strategic alliance.

Findings

The contribution of this study to the literature is twofold. First, it contributes to the literature on the application of FCA in management field. Second, this study contributes to the partner selection literature. The contribution of the study is an alternative quantitative method for partner selection based on FCA. FCA compliments qualitative approaches in the process of alternatives evaluation and decision‐making regarding partner selection for horizontal collaboration.

Practical implications

Practitioners from ship design firms can use the FCA tool to facilitate decision‐making relating to the screening of potential partners for horizontal cooperation with regard to pre‐specified selected criteria.

Originality/value

FCA has been marginally applied to aid managerial decision making. The FCA tool is valuable for practitioners from ship design firms to manage the selection of partners for horizontal collaboration. The FCA tool is associated with numerous advantages, notably, relative simplicity and versatility of visual analysis when compared with other mathematical approaches such as the analytic hierarchy process, the analytic network process, optimization modeling, and fuzzy set logic.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 110 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Yvonne Badulescu, Ari-Pekka Hameri and Naoufel Cheikhrouhou

Collaborative networked organisations (CNO) are a means of ensuring longevity and business continuity in the face of a global crisis such as COVID-19. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Collaborative networked organisations (CNO) are a means of ensuring longevity and business continuity in the face of a global crisis such as COVID-19. This paper aims to present a multi-criteria decision-making method for sustainable partner selection based on the three sustainability pillars and risk.

Design/methodology/approach

A combined analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and fuzzy AHP (F-AHP) with Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution approach is the methodology used to evaluate and rank potential partners based on known conditions and predicted conditions at a future time based on uncertainty to support sustainable partner selection.

Findings

It is integral to include risk criteria as an addition to the three sustainability pillars: economic, environmental and social, to build a robust and sustainable CNO. One must combine the AHP and F-AHP weightings to ensure the most appropriate sustainable partner selection for the current as well as predicted future period.

Research limitations/implications

The approach proposed in this paper is intended to support existing CNO, as well as individual firms wanting to create a CNO, to build a more robust and sustainable partner selection process in the context of a force majeure such as COVID-19.

Originality/value

This paper presents a novel approach to the partner selection process for a sustainable CNO under current known conditions and future uncertain conditions, highlighting the risk of a force majeure occurring such as COVID-19.

Details

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5364

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 November 2018

Jie Liang and Nan Mei

The purpose of this paper is to examine the following research question in partner selection decisions in business-to-business strategic partnerships/collaborations…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the following research question in partner selection decisions in business-to-business strategic partnerships/collaborations literature: How do inertia and uncertainty affect partner selection? Explicitly, the paper analyzes how inertia of previous alliance selection routines and uncertainty of entire market movement shape firms’ preferences regarding exploratory partner selection (i.e. selecting new partners who never collaborate with the focal firm).

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded on inter-firm partnerships, partner selection and network theory literature, the study empirically tests a fine-grained sample of 511 open-end funds initiated by 61 fund management firms in China. To do so, it runs Tobit regression for main analysis and applies a variety of sensitivity analyses to check the robustness.

Findings

Results show that inertia in previous partner selection has a negative effect on exploration. Importantly, these inertial forces impact domestic firms but not international firms. Market uncertainty also affects exploratory partner selection: short-term market uncertainty encourages exploration, whereas long-term uncertainty inhibits it. These effects also depend on firms’ type: long-term market uncertainty has a negative effect on exploration for international firms but not for domestic firms. Both types of firms exhibit a stronger tendency toward exploration when they encounter short-term uncertainty. However, this inclination is stronger in international firms.

Originality/value

Earlier research has examined how inertia affects exploitation but largely overlooked its effect on exploration. A critical examination of firm and environment level factors provides a deeper understanding of why and when firms have inconsistent preferences for specific partner selection strategies. Thus, this study offers a unique perspective for understanding firms’ exploratory partner selection by focusing on two important characteristics of focal firms: one internal (inertia) and one external (market uncertainty) in nature.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

João Alves and Raquel Meneses

This paper aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the partner selection process, which anticipates a successful co-opetition partnership. Co-opetition…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute towards a better understanding of the partner selection process, which anticipates a successful co-opetition partnership. Co-opetition partnerships refer to developing cooperation efforts between competitors. The scarcity of studies conducted in this field to date provides limited contribution for the understanding of the partner selection process in this, particularly, paradoxical concept.

Design/methodology/approach

This study follows a methodology based on systematic combining for the qualitative analysis of four cases of domestic co-opetition in Portugal. A sample range of eight companies was selected for a series of semi-structured interviews. Testimonials were transcribed and data coded for content analysis.

Findings

Results indicate that prior personal relationships between decision-makers are facilitators for the implementation of cooperation partnerships with competitors. Based on these findings, this paper proposes a three-step model to explain the process of partner selection for co-opetition partnerships. According to this model, after opting to commence a new coopetitive business alliance, the manager undergoes a first unconscious selection based on his/her own prior personal relationships, followed by a conscious and judicious selection based on specific criteria related to partner’s operational skills, resources, effectiveness and trust.

Research limitations/implications

Given that the sample is entirely formed by companies from one single country, further research would benefit from the inclusion of other countries expressing different business contexts and cultural environments.

Originality/value

The value of paper derives from the comprehensive realization of partner selection for domestic co-opetition as fundamentally a network-related process.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Anne Banks Pidduck

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to attempt to answer the related questions of how and why supply chain partners are chosen. Research objectives are to understand…

4023

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this conceptual paper is to attempt to answer the related questions of how and why supply chain partners are chosen. Research objectives are to understand how and why collaborative partners are chosen, by learning the actual decision‐making processes and key factors in partner selection.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed methods approach was chosen, comprising: a focused literature review, to identify key issues, and informal interviews, leading to the development of a Partner Negotiation Model; a multiple case study approach, involving formal interviews about two partnerships, supplemented by documentation, contracts, correspondence and other records; and some manual data analysis and a qualitative research tool. The whole resulted in identification of significant issues for partner negotiation and selection.

Findings

Contrary to accepted theory in the alliance, partner selection, and decision‐making literature, the results show that alliance partners are chosen through a complex negotiation process rather than rational selection. The research and interviews with software industry collaborators suggest roles for factors such as complexity, cyclic negotiation, several types of partners, several levels of alliance formation, and hidden factors, such as personal friendship or perceived reputation. Overall, the problem of collaborative partner selection was found to be much more complex than expected.

Research limitations/implications

Research results are limited by the small sample of partnerships reviewed, but the results can be used as a starting‐point for further larger‐scale studies.

Practical implications

Supply chain partners in business can use these results to help them better understand the process and criteria for future supply partner selection.

Originality/value

The results may be used to develop a set of partner selection recommendations for practitioners. For specific firms that become involved in organizing supply chain alliances, the results of this work will provide decision support in terms of choosing among partners or indeed whether to engage in a particular relationship.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Marina Z. Solesvik and Paul Westhead

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the partner selection criteria reported by maritime firms in Norway. The study aims to analyze how a maritime firm's…

4242

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the partner selection criteria reported by maritime firms in Norway. The study aims to analyze how a maritime firm's competitive advantage can be enhanced by the selection of the right partner with reference to a strategic alliance.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple‐case study methodology was used. Archival, survey and interview data were explored relating to the partner selection process reported by Norwegian maritime firms. Primary data were gathered from semi‐structured personal interviews with managers of Norwegian maritime firms.

Findings

Case study evidence suggests that the strategic alliances were successful when partners had been carefully selected. As detected elsewhere, successful alliances were associated with partners that had managed to build trustful and honest relationships, had common strategic goals, and partners that supplied resources and competencies. Notably, it was detected that cyclicality in the maritime industry shaped the partner selection process. Trust between partners was used as mechanism to reduce uncertainty relating to the strategic alliance process. Firms seeking long‐term alliances selected partners with substantial capital and financial stability to survive a market's downturn, as well as the resources required for expansion during a recession.

Practical implications

Presented findings have implications for practitioners, especially for managers of shipping firms, banks, shipyards, producers of ship equipment, ship design firms, and ship brokers. Practitioners need to be aware that the rationale for inter‐firm collaboration change over time, and motives are linked to the phase of the maritime cycle. Inter‐firm collaboration provides competitive advantage benefits to firms and collaboration can protect as well as create jobs and can create wealth in maritime communities.

Originality/value

A novel conceptual contribution is the exploration of links between maritime industrial cyclicality and the partner selection process relating to strategic alliances. The study also adds to debates relating to the profiles of internationalizing smaller firms.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 110 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 January 2012

Chong Wu and David Barnes

The purpose of this paper is to present a four‐phase dynamic feedback model for supply partner selection in agile supply chains (ASCs). ASCs are commonly used as a…

3062

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a four‐phase dynamic feedback model for supply partner selection in agile supply chains (ASCs). ASCs are commonly used as a response to increasingly dynamic markets. However, partner selection in ASCs is inherently more complex and difficult under conditions of uncertainty and ambiguity as supply chains form and re‐form.

Design/methodology/approach

The model draws on both quantitative and qualitative techniques, including the Dempster‐Shafer and optimisation theories, radial basis function artificial neural networks (RBF‐ANN), analytic network process‐mixed integer multi‐objective programming (ANP‐MIMOP), Kraljic's supplier classification matrix and principles of continuous improvement. It incorporates modern computer programming techniques to overcome the information processing difficulties inherent in selecting from amongst large numbers of potential suppliers against multiple criteria in conditions of uncertainty.

Findings

The model enables decision makers to make efficient and effective use of the vastly increased amount of data that is available in today's information‐driven society and it offers a comprehensive, systematic and rigorous approach to a complex problem.

Research limitations/implications

The model has two main drawbacks. First, practitioners may find it difficult to match supplier evaluation criteria with the strategic objectives for an ASC. Second, they may perceive the model to be too complex for use when speed is of the essence.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is that, for the first time, it draws together work from previous articles that have described each of the four stages of the model in detail to present a comprehensive overview of the model.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Maureen Brookes and Levent Altinay

This paper aims to identify the partner selection criteria employed both by franchisors and franchisees in master franchise agreements and evaluate how different selection

5333

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the partner selection criteria employed both by franchisors and franchisees in master franchise agreements and evaluate how different selection criteria interact within the selection process and influence the decisions taken.

Design/methodology/approach

A single embedded case study of an international hotel firm was the focus of the enquiry. Interviews and document analysis were used as the data collection techniques.

Findings

The findings reveal that the establishment of franchise partnership involves a mutual and careful evaluation between franchisors and franchisees to assess whether their partnership criteria are compatible. The partner selection approach determines the extent of importance attached to different task‐ and partner‐related selection criteria. In addition, the study identifies the role that different selection criteria play at different stages of the process.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on a single case study in the international hotel industry and therefore may not be generalisable to other firms or industry sectors. Moreover, the study comprised master franchise agreements, and this contextual variable may impact on the findings determined.

Practical implications

This paper illuminates the challenges both international franchisors and franchisees face in selecting their partners and proposes that both franchisors and franchisees should employ clearly defined selection criteria, utilise a defined selection process and choose their selection approach carefully in recruiting partners.

Originality/value

This paper cross‐fertilises the strategic alliance and franchise literature to evaluate the interplay of partner selection criteria, process, selection approach and international franchise recruitment. The findings contribute to the understanding of a largely neglected area, franchise partner selection and recruitment, by taking a holistic approach and incorporating the views of both franchisors and franchisees.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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