Session 126

Getting It Right: Buyer-Supplier Relationships

Track B

Date: Monday, October 12, 2009


Time: 17:15 – 18:30


Room: Meeting Room 14

Session Chair:
Anne Parmigiani, University of Oregon

Title: Making an End Run: When Do Firms Build Relationships with Distant Supply Chain Partners


  • Anne Parmigiani, University of Oregon
  • Jennifer Irwin, University of Oregon

Abstract: Firms are vertically interconnected through supply chains to obtain materials, exchange information, and provide products to customers. Members in a supply chain include raw material producers, component suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and end users. Although acknowledging several firms are involved, received literature focuses on dyadic relationships between buyers and suppliers. But, firms sometimes go around their closest supply chain partner and deal directly with a more distant firm, such as a component supplier working directly with a distributor. Motivations include leveraging market power, reducing information asymmetry, and mitigating environmental uncertainty. This paper explores when and why firms go around proximate partners to work with more distant firms, discusses implications of this behavior, and provides illustrations from the motorhome industry.

Title: When Product and Organizational Architectures Mirror Component Modularity and Supplier Relations in the Air-Conditioning Industry


  • Anna Cabigiosu, University of Padova
  • Arnaldo Camuffo, Bocconi University

Abstract: Analyzing a dataset of 100 components and supply relationships in the air conditioning industry, this study investigates if, to what extent and under which conditions the degree of coupling of product and organizational architectures mirror.
Our analysis shows that, under the condition of product architecture stability, supplier relations for loosely coupled components require less information sharing, which implies that the degree of coupling of product components varies with the degree of coupling of organizations. Also, the performance of supply relationships depends on the amount of buyer-supplier information sharing but not on the degree of modularity. Finally, component modularity negatively moderates the direct relationship between buyer-supplier information sharing and the performance of supply relationships, which confirms that modularity works as a substitute for inter-organizational integration mechanisms.

Title: Timing and Buyer-Supplier Negotiations


  • Fabrice Lumineau, Purdue University
  • James Henderson, IMD

Abstract: This paper analyzes how timing in a buyer-supplier disputes impacts subsequent negotiation strategies. We examine different facets of timing – when the dispute occurs during the contract, the process of negotiations unfolding and the time to respond to the other party – and their effects on the choice of a collaborative versus competitive negotiation strategy. Our empirical analysis employs a unique dataset of 2293 negotiation interactions in 102 disputes arising in buyer-supplier relationships.

Title: The Economic Value of Social Capital in De-Socialized Exchange


  • Todd Zenger, University of Utah
  • Daniel Elfenbein, Washington University-St. Louis

Abstract: Organization scholars have consistently highlighted the virtues of social capital in supporting effective exchange. At the same time, however, scholars also recognize that social capital in exchange constrains the fluid matching of buyers and sellers and thus may undermine exchange performance. In response, a large number of organizations appear to actively seek to de-socialize exchange often through the use of online procurement auctions. In this paper, we examine whether value in social capital persists in settings where deliberate efforts are undertaken to de-socialize exchange. In particular, we examine the procurement activities of a large global manufacturer that extensively uses reverse procurement auctions. We find strong evidence that social capital persists in value despite these efforts to de-socialize value. We also find that the value of social capital varies predictably with the attributes of the exchange.

All Sessions in Track B...

Mon: 12:45 – 14:00
Session 123: The Configuration of Alliance Portfolios: Antecedents and Consequences
Mon: 15:45 – 17:00
Session 131: Managing External Relationships: Perception, Judgement and Action
Session 132: Uncertainty and the Leveraging of Relational Mechanisms in Alliances
Mon: 17:15 – 18:30
Session 126: Getting It Right: Buyer-Supplier Relationships
Tue: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 124: License to Deal: Technology Licensing, Innovation, and Corporate Investment
Tue: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 127: Law and Order: Alliance Governance Decisions
Session 134: Organizational Design and Networking Strategies under Uncertainty
Tue: 14:30 – 15:45
Session 128: Is He The One? Partner Selection and Tie Formation
Session 133: The Dynamics of Interorganizational Networks and Their Performance Implications
Wed: 10:00 – 11:15
Session 129: Putting Things in Context: Competition and Network Dynamics
Wed: 11:30 – 12:45
Session 130: Alliances, Knowledge Transfer, and Performance
Session 135: The Good, the Bad and the Not so Bad: Enhancing Performance by Discerning External Relationships

Strategic Management Society

Washington DC