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Article
Publication date: 14 January 2022

Mary-Ann Mallet, Kwame Owusu Kwateng and Dorcas Nuertey

This study aims to assess the effect of supplier–buyer association on supply chain sustainability using the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana as a case study.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the effect of supplier–buyer association on supply chain sustainability using the pharmaceutical industry in Ghana as a case study.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a quantitative research approach. The study design was a cross-sectional survey design. The unit of analysis for the study was top-level managers of pharmaceutical companies in Ghana. By the use of the purposive and convenience sampling techniques, 90 respondents from pharmaceutical firms in Ghana were included. The study used descriptive statistics, t-test and regression tools in the data analysis.

Findings

It was discovered that trust mediates positively the relationship between supplier–buyer relationship and supply chain sustainability. Moreover, the study found that supplier–buyer relationship (SBR) has a significant and positive impact on supply chain sustainability.

Practical implications

The study concluded that SBR is the foundation upon which effective supply chain and supply chain sustainability are established.

Originality/value

This paper provides researchers with a contemporary perspective toward understanding the relationship between SBR and supply chain sustainability and the mediating role of trust.

Details

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6123

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1998

Alexandra J. Campbell

A cornerstone of relationship marketing is a shared understanding by suppliers and buyers about the nature of the relationship itself. This research empirically examines…

1150

Abstract

A cornerstone of relationship marketing is a shared understanding by suppliers and buyers about the nature of the relationship itself. This research empirically examines one aspect of this issue: whether internal work relationships between departments affect the expectations about cooperation that purchasing managers bring to their external supply relationships. The results suggest that buyers do attribute internal firm attitudes or norms to their external supply relationships. In firms characterized by cooperative inter‐departmental interaction, buyers have a more cooperative orientation towards their supply relationships than do buyers in firms characterized by competitive inter‐departmental interaction.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2008

Marie Koulikoff‐Souviron and Alan Harrison

This paper aims to use institutional theory to explore the role of human resource (HR) practices as carriers in the evolution of interdependent supply relationships.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use institutional theory to explore the role of human resource (HR) practices as carriers in the evolution of interdependent supply relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study of an inter‐firm supply relationship where the two partners were interdependent as a result of a “closed loop” supply relationship. The paper explores the perspectives of employees at multiple levels within both partners, and collects pluralist evidence from 36 interviewees from both sides of the dyad. It collects documentary evidence such as minutes, contractual agreements and HR documents. This paper re‐analyses the evidence from earlier work using an institutional theory framework.

Findings

Using Scott's “three pillars” the paper shows that HR practices can act as carriers of regulative, normative and cultural‐cognitive elements in interdependent supply relationships through both formal and informal mechanisms. Regulative elements were less evident, but could be fundamental in shaping the other two. A tension was found between institutional pressures at the inter‐ and intra‐firm levels, an emergence of innovative practices and new routines at inter‐organizational level, and an evolution over time that could involve a de‐institutionalisation of the relationship as a result of internal priorities competing with the resource requirements of the supply relationship.

Originality/value

The paper addresses the interface between OM and organisational theory. Areas are proposed where institutionalisation of a supply relationship can be strengthened or weakened. The findings further challenge the view of supply relationships as a “spectrum” in which progress is unidirectional over time.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Pierre‐Majorique Léger, Luc Cassivi, Pierre Hadaya and Olivier Caya

Building on the transaction cost theory and power structure literature, this paper aims to investigate the extent to which firms use two safeguarding mechanisms (supply

1633

Abstract

Purpose

Building on the transaction cost theory and power structure literature, this paper aims to investigate the extent to which firms use two safeguarding mechanisms (supply chain relational investments and electronic collaboration) in different network dependency contexts in order to protect their portfolios of business relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical evidence is gathered though a survey data conducted with 159 firms in the wireless communication sector. The paper tests the assumption that the two safeguarding mechanisms are used to a greater extent in interdependency‐intensive networks than in other supply chain contexts.

Findings

This empirical study suggests that: in a network‐dependent context, relational investments allow firms to safeguard their portfolios of relationships; electronic collaboration seems to be a safeguarding mechanism for firms in downstream‐dependent network contexts; in general, firms appear to use both relational investments and electronic collaboration to manage their relationships in a supply chain network; and the knowledge‐based theory may explain the strong relationship between upstream and downstream use of electronic collaboration.

Research limitations/implications

Overall, the present study complements the extant literature on supply chain management and inter‐firm electronic collaboration by showing how an important structural characteristic of supply chain networks (i.e. dependency) operates on the choice of using two key safeguarding mechanisms.

Practical implications

Results stress the importance of these safeguarding mechanisms in joint actions such as collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment.

Originality/value

The paper addresses interdependencies from a network perspective which encompasses the firms' complete portfolio of relationships.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 106 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2009

Sue Hornibrook, Andrew Fearne and Maria Lazzarin

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual model of fairness applicable to buyer‐ supplier relationships within supply chains in order to generate a new line of…

1935

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a conceptual model of fairness applicable to buyer‐ supplier relationships within supply chains in order to generate a new line of empirical research within supply chain management (SCM).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper presents a literature review on organisational justice drawn from the psychology discipline. Fairness within collaborative and long‐term buyer‐supplier relationships is discussed and conceptualised. A number of propositions are presented applicable to buyer supplier relationships within supply chains, given that successful implementation of supply chain strategies depends upon the actions and reactions of individuals across functions, both within and between organisations.

Findings

Some of the assumptions made in the traditional intra‐organisational setting are challenged. A conceptual model of fairness applicable to buyer‐supplier relationships is developed, and supply chain moderating factors that may impact on perceptions of justice, and possible desired organisational as well as supply chain outcomes are identified.

Originality/value

Specifically, a contribution is made to the gaps in the SCM literature on the social implications of SCM by developing a behavioural theoretical approach. Solutions to operational measurement difficulties are offered, together with implications for practising managers to consider when managing supply chain relationships. Opportunities and difficulties for future empirical research are also identified.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 37 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 28 January 2020

Dilupa Nakandala, Meg Smith and Henry Lau

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supply chain relationships in an urban local fresh food system from a retailer perspective to examine the types of relationships

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate supply chain relationships in an urban local fresh food system from a retailer perspective to examine the types of relationships and the factors underpinning the development of such relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the multiple case study method, interview data from twelve urban local fresh food retailers in Sydney were analysed using the thematic analysis.

Findings

This study finds that balanced power relationships in the supply chain allow reasonable power to sit with growers in product price determination irrespective of the dependency of small-scale growers on relatively large local retailers. Trust-based relationships are developed over multiple transactions, where shared values across the supply chain and consistently low opportunistic behaviour in reward sharing are demonstrated to be the crucial factors underpinning close relationships. This study also found evidence of horizontal supply chain linkages among retailers in a competitive environment.

Practical implications

Findings of this study have implications for policymakers in designing urban fresh food systems and for practitioners in large urban retailers including supermarkets that attempt to integrate local food into their product portfolio.

Originality/value

This study extends the local food system literature dominated by rural studies to include new knowledge about the dynamics of collaborations in contemporary urban local fresh food supply chains. It provides the first empirical evidence of lateral inventory transshipment between retailers in a competitive environment confirming previous simulation studies.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 122 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 April 2010

Jonas Lucio Maia, Aline Lamon Cerra and Alceu Gomes Alves Filho

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the “automaker‐supplier” relationships that exist in a supply chain of the Brazilian automotive sector, based on assumptions…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the “automaker‐supplier” relationships that exist in a supply chain of the Brazilian automotive sector, based on assumptions and variables of transaction cost economics (TCE).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explored case studies carried out at an automotive engine manufacturer and six of its suppliers, applying semistructured interviews.

Findings

The findings indicate that automakers seek to utilize a form of hybrid relationship with their suppliers, which sometimes resembles competition and at other times cooperation; asset specificity tends to be greater in the first‐tier of the supply chain; and asset specificity seems to be mediated by aspects such as the amount of production destined to the manufacturer, the objective of maximizing return on previous investments, and the configuration of higher value‐added supply operations.

Practical implications

The results corroborate that close, long‐lasting, and trustful relationships tend to reduce transaction costs and improve performance, but in some cases, “latent competition” may also lead to reduced costs; managers should not undervalue the self‐reinforcing effects of asset specificity in a context of shared investments; and business strategy should guide every decision made inside supply chains in order to align supply and operations priorities.

Originality/value

Considering the deep restructuring process that Brazilian automotive industry has experienced, this paper brings its contribution in using TCE tools to analyze relationships inside an engine‐producing supply chain, dealing with the links between TCE and supply chain management.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 110 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 March 2009

Senja Svahn and Mika Westerlund

Purchasing has emerged as a key source of competitive advantage. This paper aims to explore how different purchasing strategies are connected to complex supply

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Abstract

Purpose

Purchasing has emerged as a key source of competitive advantage. This paper aims to explore how different purchasing strategies are connected to complex supply relationships and to the goal of purchasing.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on the literature on industrial network theory and industrial buying behaviour.

Findings

The contribution describes six types of purchasing strategies that firms exert. These strategies depend on the complexity of supply relationships and the buyer's purchasing goal. Conventional products and services are bought through transactional exchange relationships, whereas strategically important items are purchased through intentional supply networks.

Practical implications

Purchasing strategies of a firm emphasise either efficiency or effectiveness of operation. The type of exchange varies according to the nature of supply relationships: it is either transactional or relational. A key implication for managers is that they should recognise the goal of buying, the strategic importance of the object of purchasing, and choose accordingly between the different types of supplier structures.

Originality/value

The paper shows that firms' purchasing strategies depend on the nature of their supply relationships and the motive for purchasing. Different strategies emphasise different aspects and events that ultimately manifest themselves in the firms' business models.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 24 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Dayna F. Simpson and Damien J. Power

To investigate the relationship between a supplier and firm's level of environmental management activity and the structure of the customer‐supplier manufacturing relationship.

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Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the relationship between a supplier and firm's level of environmental management activity and the structure of the customer‐supplier manufacturing relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a conceptual framework and looks at the literature in order to investigate this relationship. Three main concepts (supply relationship, lean manufacturing, and environmental management practices) and their relationship to one another are described and the discussion concludes with major hypotheses for further research in this area.

Findings

A major literature review reveals that efforts to improve or influence a supplier's environmental management practice raises critical issues of transaction costs and efficacy of approach for the buyer. The review allowed development of a model for approaching issues of supplier environmental performance through lean supply.

Originality/value

The environmental performance of suppliers to the supply function can prove to be a costly endeavour if not managed correctly. The framework presented in this paper may be of use in this respect.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 March 2022

Mike Brookbanks and Glenn Parry

This paper examines the impact of a blockchain platform on the role and importance of trust in established buyer-supplier relationships.

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the impact of a blockchain platform on the role and importance of trust in established buyer-supplier relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review provides insight into trust development in supply chains. Research uses a case study of two wine supply chains: the producers, importers, logistics companies and UK Government agencies. Semi-structured interviews determine how trust and trustworthiness develop in buyer-supplier relationships and the impact of a blockchain-based technology proof of concept on supply chain trust.

Findings

A blockchain-based platform introduces common trusted data, reducing data duplication and improving supply chain visibility. The platform supports trust building between parties but does not replace the requirements for organisations to establish a position of trust. Contrary to literature claims for blockchain trustless disintermediation, new intermediaries are introduced who need to be trusted.

Research limitations/implications

The case study presents challenges specific to UK customs borders, and research needs to be repeated in different contexts to establish if findings are generalisable.

Practical implications

A blockchain-based platform can improve supply chain efficiency and trust development but does not remove the need for trust and trust-building processes. Blockchain platform providers need to build a position of trust with all participants.

Originality/value

Case study research shows how blockchain facilitates but does not remove trust, trustworthiness and trust relationships in established supply chains. The reduction in information asymmetry and improved supply chain visibility provided by blockchain does not change the importance of trust in established buyer-supplier relationships or the trust-based policy of the UK Government at the customs border.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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