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Title: Buyer-supplier relations in the UK tableware supply chain
Author: Day, Marc.
Awarding Body: Keele University
Current Institution: Keele University
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis challenges the idea that buyer-supplier relations can be objectively 'managed' in all cases by firms in the same 'supply chain'. The study examines this argument in relation to a small network of buyer and supplier finns in one industry, ceramic tableware production. The first significant gap found in the 'supply chain management' literature was that the focus of research failed to examine in significant detail the intricacies of why organizations are often forced to 'react' to changes in inter-finn relations, rather than being able to 'manage' such events. A second gap in existing research was its bias toward researching a limited set of industries such as automotives and food production, where manufacturers or assemblers often hold pivotal roles in the supply chain. A final gap in supply chain research was the weak linkage between supply chain management and wider debates relating to productive and organizational change. In addition, the area of literature encapsulating discussions relating to the industrial agglomeration of finns within the 'industrial district' has been used in the past to chart shifting structures for buyer-supplier and infrastructural organization. A strong analytical approach is developed in this thesis that shows the 'softer' aspects of supply chain interaction. The research shows that, although it is possible to 'manage' the pattern of interaction in a network from a focal finn perspective, wider inter-personal, dyadic and network activities do present difficulties in this 'management' activity. This leads to the conclusion that 'supply chain management' may not be a clear cut activity which is simple to apply. At the aggregated network level of interaction, piecemeal evidence was found to support claims for any significant shift in buyer-supplier relations or productive organization that is encapsulated in any of the variant fonns of the Marshallian 'industrial district'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business logistics