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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Luis Araujo, Lars-Erik Gadde and Anna Dubois

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical account of the evolution of the purchasing and supply management (PSM) field from the perspective of resource…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an historical account of the evolution of the purchasing and supply management (PSM) field from the perspective of resource interfaces between buying firms and their suppliers. This historical account is then used as a platform to develop a framework for understanding of the capabilities required to manage a cluster of resource interfaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses an historical survey of practices and ideas in the PSM field to develop a theoretical argument on capabilities to manage resource interfaces between buying firms and their suppliers.

Findings

The paper proposes a framework linking learning, interactive capacity and interactive capability as they evolve through the interplay between resource interface type, organizing principle and technology strategy.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes a conceptual framework focussing on the capabilities that underpin the management of individual resource interfaces.

Practical implications

The paper offers the following practical implications: first, the firm needs to consider what type of interface applies in the relationships with its suppliers: second, the firm needs to consider its technological strategy in light of its current supplier interfaces and organizing principles: third, the internal as well as external organizing needs to be aligned with what the firm proposes to achieve from its supplier relationships and be congruent with the interfaces deployed to manage those relationships: fourth, interacting with suppliers is a matter of learning regarding the outcomes of the interaction as well developing interactive capacities and capabilities.

Originality/value

The paper provides a first attempt to go beyond the characterization of individual resource interfaces in buyer-supplier relationships, to look at the capabilities required to manage multiple resource interfaces and the dynamics underpinning paths of development for those capabilities.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 17 August 2017

Lars-Erik Gadde and Finn Wynstra

In a relationship both sides are important for the development. This is one reason why purchasing has always been as central as marketing in the empirical studies in IMP…

Abstract

In a relationship both sides are important for the development. This is one reason why purchasing has always been as central as marketing in the empirical studies in IMP. The manner in which the features of business networks affect the role of purchasing and the roles of the suppliers and supply management is here in focus. The existence and importance of business relationships have normative consequences for purchasing that are very distinct and break clearly with some of the traditional normative recommendations for purchasing. The authors believe that ‘buying organisations increasingly need to develop interactive interfaces with their suppliers. One reason is that collaborative innovation and therefore the development role of PSM (purchasing and supply management) is becoming more important’. The conclusion is clear: If the buying organisations want to get more out of the suppliers than the supply of a standard product at a certain price, they have to engage in a more extensive interaction and develop a broader and closer business relationship that must be properly managed. That implies giving up some autonomy and accepting dependence on suppliers as developmental partners.

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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2020

Steffen Muxoll Bastholm and Kristin B. Munksgaard

The strategic importance of the purchasing function increases, as its task become more dynamic in various interfaces with different suppliers. Changes in these customer…

Abstract

Purpose

The strategic importance of the purchasing function increases, as its task become more dynamic in various interfaces with different suppliers. Changes in these customer–supplier interfaces pose specific challenges. The purpose of this study is to investigate how the purchasing function handles the interplay of interface changes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study applies a qualitative single case study design. Data are collected through observations and interviews conducted before, during and after a concrete change of interface taking place between a buying firm and its suppliers and customers.

Findings

Three main findings are identified to redefine the tasks of the purchasing function. The first concerns the new ways of defining the purchasing tasks. The main issue is to balance tasks with the simultaneous changes influencing other interfaces and relationships. The second is the division and alignment of tasks in intra- and inter-organizational networks with regards to who decides and coordinates what. Third, the inter-connected performance relates to how other actors perform their tasks. For the purchasing function, managing supplier interfaces influences and is influenced by how the firm simultaneously manages its user interface.

Practical implications

For management, a new way to evaluate the performance of the purchasing function is needed by including relationship management and interactive capabilities.

Originality/value

This study contributes with new insights into how managing the dynamics of changing interfaces requires interactively defined purchasing tasks, division and alignment of tasks and inter-connected performance vis-à-vis others in the wider network setting.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Frida Lind and Lisa Melander

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supplier interfaces in technological development.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supplier interfaces in technological development.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework is based on the industrial network approach and, in particular, the concept of supplier interfaces (standardized, specified, translational and interactive). The empirical study consists of a case study of a supplier relationship between an established truck manufacturer and one of its partners in technological development. This supplier relationship has its base in joint projects on developments in automation.

Findings

The empirical study provides evidence of three types of interfaces that are characteristic of technological development and discusses their development and how they are used in combination. The three types are follows: specified, translational and interactive. The conclusions show that developing an interface from specified to translational or interactive is challenging and technological development characterized by uncertainty may call for certain interfaces that are not of value in other settings, such as industrial production.

Originality/value

By applying the interface concepts to technological development in collaboration with suppliers and related identifying characteristic interfaces, this paper aims to extend the literature on how suppliers can be engaged in uncertain endeavours such as development projects.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2020

Hakan Hakansson and Björn Axelsson

This paper centers round outsourcing. The purpose of this paper is to direct attention to outsourcing in the public sector and focus on what could be special when…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper centers round outsourcing. The purpose of this paper is to direct attention to outsourcing in the public sector and focus on what could be special when considering outsourcing in such contexts. The authors try to portray the business activities in private and in public sector settings and identify some similarities and – more importantly – some significant differences.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use two analytical tools, a classification system of various interfaces between a selling and buying firm and a two-fold scheme for strategic analyses of outsourcing or not as well as in what ways to outsource. These tools have been developed in studies of private sector outsourcing but are applicable, as tools, also in public sector contexts. Two empirical cases from public sector outsourcing are used to illustrate options and obstacles for outsourcing ventures in the public sector.

Findings

The analytical discussion aims at pointing out when and how outsourcing should be a straightforward choice in the public sector. The authors also point at situations when it is a much more complicated process and thus restricted.

Originality/value

This study gives strong support for the need to identify which theoretical model has been used by the involved organizations in their evaluation of the situation.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2012

Ayshe Cagli, Med Kechidi and Rachel Levy

The aeronautical industry is a perfect example of a complex product industry characterized by a hierarchically‐organized supply chain. The authors can identify four types…

Abstract

Purpose

The aeronautical industry is a perfect example of a complex product industry characterized by a hierarchically‐organized supply chain. The authors can identify four types of supplier interfaces: interactive, translation, specified and standardized ones. The purpose of this paper is to understand the factors explaining the diversification of these relationships between aircraft manufacturers and their suppliers, through the example of Airbus suppliers.

Design/methodology/approach

Network analysis (to define the complexity level of aircraft components), data analysis (to characterize the diversity of aircraft suppliers) and a logit model were combined in order to link the supplier interfaces to the complexity of components and to the suppliers' characteristics.

Findings

It is shown that the earlier a supplier is involved in the development process, the more responsibility is delegated to him and the more intertwined its relationship is with the prime contractor. Also, it is shown that component complexity plays a major role in a supplier's involvement during the integral design and face‐to‐face interactions matter greatly during the co‐design phases of the products.

Research limitations/implications

The research has rather a static perspective covering all the inter‐firm relations within Airbus programs at once. By using the same databases, one could look into the evolution of supplier interfaces within the aeronautical supply chain. A dynamic view would provide some evidence regarding the recent restructuring of the supply chain.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper comes from the methodology and the use of original data allowing to test in the same analysis the role of the component complexity and the characterization of the suppliers on the form of relationship between the manufacturer and its principal suppliers.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 13 October 2020

Viktoria Sundquist and Lisa Melander

This paper aims to investigate how various organizational interfaces between firms, units and functions, and the interplay between them, are developed and mobilized in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how various organizational interfaces between firms, units and functions, and the interplay between them, are developed and mobilized in product development processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The theoretical framework is based on the industrial network approach, including interactive resource development and the concept of organizational interfaces. A single case study is conducted at a world-leading industrial tool manufacturer, illustrating how resources are combined over time, crossing boundaries of firms, units and functions in the development of a hand-held digitalized tool for quality assurance in the production of cars. Data have been collected through semi-structured interviews, with additional data in the form of project reports, internal documents and practices for external collaboration.

Findings

In addition to inter-organizational interfaces, the study identifies a typology of scouting, embarking and integration interfaces at unit level (geographically spread units of one multinational corporation) and interpretation and reciprocal interfaces at function level. The conclusions show that these interfaces affect the outcome of three aspects of the product development process: product characteristics and functionality features, system integration and organizational network extent. Existing interfaces serve as a platform for developing interaction further and provide the interfaces with new content, thus moving between different types of interfaces. Product development processes also involve new interfaces where there was no previous interaction between the parties.

Research limitations/implications

This research has implications for the interplay between interfaces in cases involving multiple external and internal actors in resource combining efforts.

Practical implications

External interactions between firms influence and impact internal activities and resources. Managers need to be aware of the complex interdependencies between external and internal interfaces and resources. Managing organizational interfaces is about both exploiting established interfaces and developing new ones. Consequently, existing interfaces may be activated differently to align with new interaction purposes, which, in turn, requires efforts to combine resources according to the new conditions.

Originality/value

Previous research contains a typology of organizational interfaces between customers and suppliers. The study expands on this research by identifying internal interfaces between units and functions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Ronan McIvor and Paul Humphreys

This paper examines the implications of electronic business‐to‐business intermediaries for the buyer‐supplier interface. Innovations in electronic commerce have a key role…

Abstract

This paper examines the implications of electronic business‐to‐business intermediaries for the buyer‐supplier interface. Innovations in electronic commerce have a key role to play in managing inter‐organisational networks of supply chain members. The evidence presented in this paper illustrates that the Internet represents a powerful technology for commerce and communication at the buyer‐supplier interface. An overview is provided of the evolution of electronic commerce at the buyer‐supplier interface and the typical business models that have been developed. A theoretical framework is proposed, based on the inter‐organisational relationships paradigm. A number of case studies are presented which examine the role of electronic intermediaries at the buyer‐supplier interface. It is shown how the inter‐organisational relationships paradigm is an effective means of evaluating the buyer‐supplier interface in an electronic B2B environment. The application of the framework is discussed in relation to the three case studies and the implications for practitioners are highlighted.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Paul Humphreys, Ronan McIvor and Trevor Cadden

The purpose of this article is to examine how electronic commerce can fundamentally change the inter‐organisational processes at the interface between the buyer and supplier.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to examine how electronic commerce can fundamentally change the inter‐organisational processes at the interface between the buyer and supplier.

Design/methodology/approach

First, an overview is provided of the evolution of B2B commerce and the typical business models that have been developed. Second, a number of factors are identified which impact on the buyer‐supplier interface in B2B commerce. Finally, the conclusions will examine the implications for managers involved in B2B commerce who have to interact across organisational boundaries.

Findings

Electronic commerce not only enables the redesign of internal organisational processes but is extended into both the buyer and supplier organisations. Innovations in electronic commerce have a key role to play in managing inter‐organisational networks of supply chain members. It is also found that in many instances electronic commerce is radically changing the way in which organisations have traditionally traded. As well as impacting the external trading arrangements between buyers and suppliers, electronic commerce is also affecting the traditional roles of the functions involved in managing the buyer/supplier relationship.

Practical implications

It is essential for top management to understand that the internet is more than a tool or technique, but rather something that is woven into the fabric of the organisation and the relationship with its environment. Adopting such an approach represents a drastic change from traditional management thinking and, more importantly, for management's behaviour.

Originality/value

This paper provides an improved understanding of how the internet represents a powerful technology for commerce and communication at the buyer‐supplier interface. This will be a useful insight for academics and practitioners alike.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

David T. Rosell, Nicolette Lakemond and S. Nazli Wasti

Many manufacturing firms source components and subsystems from suppliers. Consequently, the suppliers' product and manufacturing knowledge is a central concern at the…

Abstract

Purpose

Many manufacturing firms source components and subsystems from suppliers. Consequently, the suppliers' product and manufacturing knowledge is a central concern at the interface between R&D and manufacturing. This paper aims to specifically investigate how supplier knowledge is integrated and what role trust plays in knowledge integration with suppliers at the R&D-manufacturing interface.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on qualitative case studies of two different collaborations with suppliers at one firm.

Findings

Two distinct processes are identified. First, capturing represents knowledge integration through decoupling, for which a basic level of trust specifically with regard to the competence of the supplier is necessary. Capturing can take place through interactions that are limited in time and scope. Second, joint learning represents a coupled knowledge integration process and takes place during a more extended period of time preceding and following the R&D-manufacturing interface and builds on relational-based trust.

Practical implications

The interface between R&D and manufacturing needs to be extended to include a focus on suppliers' contributions in terms of product and manufacturing knowledge. The choice for suitable knowledge integration processes needs to be guided by concerns about the level of trust and the character of the supplier contributions.

Originality/value

The paper adds new insights to previous literature by distinguishing between different types of knowledge integration processes and levels of trust. It bridges the gap between innovation and operations management and clearly shows that the interface between R&D and manufacturing crosses organizational borders.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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