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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Desmond Doran, Peter Thomas and Nigel Caldwell

The primary aim of this research is to explore buyer‐supplier relationships within a service sector context.

Abstract

Purpose

The primary aim of this research is to explore buyer‐supplier relationships within a service sector context.

Design/methodology/approach

To address the primary aim, both quantitative and qualitative approaches were utilised. A questionnaire was issued to selected buyer and supplier groups in order to determine relationship issues associated with insurance claims. The questionnaire was complemented by a number of semi‐structured interviews with buyers and suppliers across each spend category.

Findings

The results of this research indicate that there are significant gaps between buyer and supplier expectations concerning how relationships should evolve and that the issues of power and trust will need to be explored in greater depth if relationships are to be optimised.

Practical implications

This research is of practical use to service sector companies attempting to examine how to develop effective buyer‐supplier relationships. It is of particular use to service buyer operations within the insurance sector, that is moving from the traditional cash compensation approach to a replacement goods approach.

Originality/value

Very little has been written about buyer‐supplier relationships in the insurance sector and as such this paper provides an insight into issues relating to such relationships within this unique service sector context.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Book part
Publication date: 1 November 2008

Thomas Ritter and Achim Walter

Managers and academics alike focus on value creation in business relationships. This paper adds to existing literature by analyzing functions of business relationships and…

Abstract

Managers and academics alike focus on value creation in business relationships. This paper adds to existing literature by analyzing functions of business relationships and their impact on value perception. Applying a customer perspective, direct relationship functions are concerned about payment, quality, and volume. Indirect functions include innovation, access, and scouting. Furthermore, trust and number of alternative suppliers are included in the study. The empirical results illustrate the important role of direct and indirect functions for value creation. Understanding these functions is instrumental for driving customer value, both for the supplier and the seller. Direct functions do have a much stronger impact on value than indirect functions that still do have a significant impact. Thus, increasing direct function fulfillment is much more effective in order to gain key supplier status than relying only on indirect functions. But indirect functions may offer ample differentiation opportunities. Being a strong driver of relationship value, trust is also driven by function fulfillment. Thus, relationship value depends on rational elements (functions) and social elements (trust). Availability of alternative suppliers increases the importance of relationship function fulfillment on customer value and customer trust. In highly competitive markets, suppliers need clear understanding and communication of relationship value in order to succeed.

Details

Creating and managing superior customer value
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-173-2

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2018

Carol J. Gaumer and Kathie J. Shaffer

The purpose of this study is to examine what happens to human relationships when a family business is handed off to the next generation. The second generation, to succeed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine what happens to human relationships when a family business is handed off to the next generation. The second generation, to succeed, must work to nurture and sustain current customer, supplier, and employee relationships so as not to damage existing goodwill. As power is transferred from the founder of the family business to the next generation, organizational issues and the leadership style of the successor take center stage.

Design/methodology/approach

This is strictly a conceptual paper designed for the practitioner. There is no empirical study therein, only theoretical frameworks to guide practitioners and family business owners. It is meant to be informational with many useful “tips” for family business succession.

Findings

Relationships with valuable human resources, such as current customers, suppliers, and employees must receive the attention they deserve to avoid negatively impacting organizational brand equity. Failure to nurture supplier relationships can increase costs and access. Neglected customer relationships may cause the loss of key members of these groups, contributing significantly to second-generation business failures. Damaged employee relationships cause expensive turnover, loss in customers, and negative word of mouth. Research suggests that only 30 per cent of businesses survive into the second generation and even less (about 13 per cent) into the third generation (U.S. Census Bureau, 2015).

Research limitations/implications

The next step would be to test the propositions using both qualitative and quantitative research, beginning with interviews of second-generation family business owners. The interviews would test the successor-generations’ attitudes and behaviors toward established customers, suppliers, and employees. Attitudes would be measured on a Likert scale to explore the perceived importance of current customers, employees, and suppliers to the new owner. Issues of commitment, responsibility, loyalty, friendship, respect, and caring would also be measured to evaluate how relationship-friendly the new owner is. Levels of retention of key stakeholders would then be correlated with the firm’s financial success or failure to see if there is any statistically significant relationship.

Practical implications

Establishing and maintaining strong trust relationships will socially bond customers, employees, and suppliers to the organization. Introduction of a second generation changes the dynamics of these relationships, so care is critical, as customers, suppliers, and employees become anxious with change. Relationship management is about nurturing customer relationships, honoring supplier arrangements, and developing employees. Consistent care toward trusted human resources creates brand equity (or monetary value). Naturally, family businesses start small and understand the value of each relationship, but as the business passes from the founder to the second generation, these loyal, trusted relationships may be tested. It is up to the successor to assure customers, suppliers, and employees that they are a valued part of the operation. Inability to do this will likely lead to an erosion of the business’ loyal base and may precipitate in failure of the firm for the successor.

Social implications

The social implications revolve around acceptable human interaction and proper treatment of individuals who are critical to the small family business’ success. As a family business passes from the founder to the second generation, loyal, trusted relationships may be tested. It is up to the successor to assure customers, suppliers, and employees that they are a valued part of the operation. Inability to do this will likely lead to an erosion of the business’ loyal base and may precipitate in failure of the firm for the successor.

Originality/value

It is original in that it is practitioner-oriented and full of useful tips for the family business owner. None of the information contained therein is novel. It is a consensus or compilation of useful information packaged for a practitioner.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2021

Jin Li, Linlin Chai, Chanchai Tangpong, Michelle Hong and Rodney D. Traub

This study aims to examine empirically the existence of four classical and four emerging buyer–supplier relationship (BSR) types and how they differ in terms of behavioral…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine empirically the existence of four classical and four emerging buyer–supplier relationship (BSR) types and how they differ in terms of behavioral dynamics and performance measures.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses an online survey to collect data from 371 purchasing managers in the USA.

Findings

A cluster analysis statistically supports the existence of five of these eight BSR types, including strategic/bilateral partnership, market/discrete, supplier-led collaboration, captive supplier/buyer dominant and captive buyer/supplier dominant BSRs. Further, ANOVA tests show that these five BSRs differ in terms of behavioral outcomes and performance measures.

Research limitations/implications

This study is based on a cross-sectional survey so it cannot examine how these BSR types may evolve over time, and it is not suitable to examine some rare types of BSRs. In addition, this study does not consider contextual factors that may moderate the influence of BSR types on the behavioral dynamics and performance measures.

Practical implications

Managers should consider the potential to be able to develop and enhance a strategic/bilateral relationship with their supply chain partners, which in at least some circumstances can lead to superior performance results. Similar observations can be made with respect to supplier-led and, to a lesser degree, buyer-led collaboration.

Originality/value

Most existing research of the BSR types is largely a product of theoretical classifications, and there is also a lack of research of their performance implications. This study fills these gaps in the literature.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2007

Susan M. Ogden and Eileen McCorriston

The aim of this paper is to report the findings from a survey of UK conference and event managers, which highlights the benefits that can accrue from supplier management…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to report the findings from a survey of UK conference and event managers, which highlights the benefits that can accrue from supplier management within this sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey of venue managers covering a cross‐section of venue types was used.

Findings

A significant proportion of venue managers report having long‐term supplier relationships, placing considerable value on the non‐financial benefits that can accrue from long‐term supplier relations featuring mutual trust and good working relationships. These include consistency, responsiveness and flexibility in service delivery. Additionally, the familiarity of regular suppliers with the venue and its procedures, can lead to seamless service delivery to the customer and free‐up venue managers time.

Research limitations/implications

The research design provides a one‐sided view of supplier relationships.

Practical implications

Attention is drawn to the performance benefits arising from building supplier relationships and offers guidance as to how these can be sustained by avoiding the pitfalls on long‐term relationships. In doing so, the findings legitimise the importance of taking non‐financial considerations into account when awarding or renewing supply contracts.

Originality/value

This paper applies lessons emerging from research on supplier relationships to a growing, but under‐researched, sector of the hospitality industry.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2021

Tatiane Pellin Cislaghi, Douglas Wegner and Luciana Marques Vieira

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how the use of governance mechanisms in buyer-supplier relationships in the supply chain (SC) are related to the maturity of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how the use of governance mechanisms in buyer-supplier relationships in the supply chain (SC) are related to the maturity of relationships and the generation of relational rents.

Design/methodology/approach

Several studies have analysed interorganisational governance in SCs. However, to the best of the knowledge, no study has focussed on the use of different types of governance mechanisms through maturity stages in buyer-supplier relationships and as a consequence, its relational rents. The aim of this paper is to analyse how the use of governance mechanisms in buyer-supplier relationships in the SC are related to the maturity of relationships and the generation of relational rents. To achieve this goal, this paper carried out multiple case studies.

Findings

The results show that changes in the use of formal and informal governance mechanisms contribute to the generation of relational rents and relationship continuity. This paper identified that a reduction in power asymmetry by the buyer may allow for the greater use of informal governance mechanisms and greater relational rents. Moreover, the paper highlights that a relationship might advance or regress throughout the maturity stages, according to the commitment of the buyer to maintain the relationship with the supplier.

Research limitations/implications

The study has the limitation of having chosen polar case studies in the organic sector in Brazil to illustrate the theoretical discussion and propose a model to be tested via further research. This study considered institutional factors in the analysis that might not affect dyadic relationships in other sectors and countries.

Practical implications

As a managerial contribution, the results indicate that when the buyer uses both kinds of mechanisms complementarily and encourages the utilisation of informal mechanisms, relationships become more resilient to adverse events.

Social implications

The study also contributes towards valuing the role of organic farmers and encourages the government and business community to reflect on the challenges and opportunities in the sector.

Originality/value

Based on four propositions created by evaluating both the empirical data and previous literature, this paper proposes a buyer-supplier relationship maturity model rather than an overall SC maturity model. This paper also elaborated on the arguments of Dyer et al. (2018), proposing a causal explanation of how a relationship might advance or regress throughout the maturity stages, according to the commitment of the buyer to maintain the relationship with the supplier using governance mechanisms. This change in maturity stages, in turn, affects relational rents for the dyad.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2021

Kedwadee Sombultawee and Prasopchai Pasunon

The purpose of this study is to explore an integrative model of supplier success, using a case study of the Thai high-technology firms. The study focuses on buyer-supplier

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore an integrative model of supplier success, using a case study of the Thai high-technology firms. The study focuses on buyer-supplier relationships of information systems (IS), including bundles of hardware, software and services because these relationships are dependent on both immediate performance quality of the IS and long-term maintenance of a strong buyer-supplier relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The research used an integrative model that incorporated the DeLone and McLean (2003) IS success model, representing system quality and Clauss and Tangpong’s (2018) impregnable exchange relationship model, representing relationship quality. Exploratory mixed methods study incorporated interviews with supplier relationship managers at five Thai high-technology firms (n = 15) and a quantitative survey of buyer firms (n = 393).

Findings

Results supported the integrative system-supplier success model. The most significant limitation is that the study was only conducted in a single industry (high tech) when the IS buyer-supplier relationships modeled here are ubiquitous in modern business.

Research limitations/implications

Despite this limitation, the research contributes to the literature by developing and testing a long-term buyer-supplier relationship success model that incorporates both the characteristics of an IS and the supplier characteristics that lead to positive outcomes.

Originality/value

This study makes intuitive sense and being demonstrated statistically – the fact that the overall quality of an IS, coupled with a well-liked, non-substitutable supplier with a history of good performance, would be considered to be a successful supplier relationship is not especially controversial. The value of the study lies in the integration of the two models to represent different aspects of supplier performance, which could have a different effect on the buyer-supplier relationship in the long-term.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 22 February 2010

Chikako Oka

Given the continued growth in the globalization of production, working conditions in global supply chains have come under increased scrutiny. Although there has been much…

Abstract

Given the continued growth in the globalization of production, working conditions in global supply chains have come under increased scrutiny. Although there has been much debate about corporate codes of conduct and monitoring procedures, the question of how buyers influence their suppliers’ working conditions at the factory level remains poorly understood. Using a unique data set based on monitoring by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and original survey data collected in Cambodia's garment sector, this study shows that the main channel linking buyers and supplier compliance performance is the nature of their relationships. Market-based relationships mediated through sourcing agents are systematically associated with poorer compliance performance. In particular, when a reputation-conscious buyer is sourcing from a factory, it has a positive effect on compliance, and their presence appears to condition relationship variables. Deterrence and learning channels are not supported by the evidence. The findings signal the need to pay more attention to the nature of buyer–supplier relationships if we seek to improve labor standard compliance. Market-based relationships motivate neither buyers nor suppliers to invest their time and resources to tackle the root causes of poor working conditions. Rather, the results here indicate the need to develop collaborative relationships marked by open dialogue, trust, and commitment, which in turn help to foster an environment supportive of continuous improvement in working conditions.

Details

Advances in Industrial and Labor Relations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-932-9

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2021

Assadej Vanichchinchai

This study aims to explore the links among supplier relationship (SR), customer relationship (CR) and supply performance (SP): cost, flexibility, partnership and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the links among supplier relationship (SR), customer relationship (CR) and supply performance (SP): cost, flexibility, partnership and responsiveness for manufacturing sector in Thailand.

Design/methodology/approach

Having extensively reviewed literature, the survey instruments were proposed and validated by experts and statistical techniques. Path analysis of structural equation modeling was used to assess the hypotheses.

Findings

It revealed that CR has significant positive direct effects on every SP construct. SR has a significant positive direct effect on CR but has no significant positive effects on SP. However, SR has significant positive total effects and indirect effects on every SP through CR.

Originality/value

This study presents insights into the arguments about the links among SR, CR and SP. SR should not be introduced alone. It should be applied together with CR to improve SP.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2021

Anna Dubois, Lars-Erik Gadde and Lars-Gunnar Mattsson

The purpose of the paper is to describe and analyse the evolution of the supplier base of a buying firm and the reasons behind these changes.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to describe and analyse the evolution of the supplier base of a buying firm and the reasons behind these changes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a case study of the changes over 52 years in a sub-set of the supplier base of a firm manufacturing fork-lifts.

Findings

The study shows that some relationships feature substantial longevity. However, the duration of one-third of the total relationships is shorter than five years. There was considerable variation over time in the dynamics of the supplier base in terms of entries and exits of suppliers. Owing to this variation, research findings and conclusions in short-term studies are heavily dependent on the specific conditions at the time of the study. Finally, no less than one-fourth of the terminated supplier relationships were reactivated later.

Research limitations/implications

The study was designed in a time when purchasing was considered entirely from the perspective of the buying firm. Further studies, therefore, must increasingly emphasise the role of suppliers and the interaction in the buyer–supplier relationships, as well as the embeddedness in networks.

Originality/value

The findings of the study are unique in two ways. First, they are based on systematic observations over more than 50 years. Second, the study involves the purchases of 11 components representing different technical and economic features. The (few) previous studies are based on much shorter time periods and involves fewer suppliers/components. Moreover, the findings regarding re-activation of terminated relationships represent unique contributions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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