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Business-to-business partnerships: An empirical examination in a supply chain context (Партнерские отношения в промышленном секторе: эмпирическое исследование цепочки поставок)

Опубликовано на портале: 25-12-2003
Подтип: PhD
Тематические разделы: Менеджмент, Маркетинг

Facing fierce global competition in increasingly volatile environments, companies are finding it difficult to survive without close cooperation with other companies. Companies not only have to excel in their own core competencies, but they must also develop close partnerships with other companies for integration with the entire “business ecosystem” to which they belong. In fact, supply chain management researchers and practitioners see whole sets or chains of organizations as deliberately collaborating to achieve joint goals in competition with other supply chains. A limitation of previous studies is that business-to-business partnerships and alliances have mainly been addressed from a very senior management perspective, often being more preoccupied with the choice of institutional governance form than how partnerships are implemented at lower levels in the organization. Still, the responsibility for making partnerships happen rests on the shoulders of managers in functions such as marketing, sourcing/purchasing, operations, and R&D. This is because the establishment of cooperative buyer-seller relationships implies a division of labor between organizations, which will increase the interdependence of processes at the operational level. This is particularly the case in supply chains where waste is reduced and value enhanced through crossfunctional processes and structures that bridge interorganizational boundaries. This dissertation focuses on the implementation of business-to-business partnerships at a more operational level in the context of supply chains, and conceptualizes cooperation in terms of cooperative sentiments (relationship commitment and trust) and cooperative behaviors (flexible adaptation and collaboration). The conceptual framework identifies relationship interdependence, participative decision making, and face-to-face interaction as determinants of cooperative sentiments, and electronically-mediated exchange and enabling formalization as infrastructural enablers of cooperative behaviors. Furthermore, the model includes expected performance consequences of cooperative partnerships as well as moderators determining the circumstances under which a high level of cooperation is desirable. Empirically, most of the conceptual framework's hypotheses were confirmed in a sample of international subsidiaries of Nordic multinational corporations. The moderating variables, however, were not significantly affecting the relative value of cooperative behaviors in business-to-business partnerships. Therefore, business-to-business partnerships might be applicable in more situations than previously thought.