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Title: A study of perceptual differences in buyer-supplier relationships
Author: Ambrose, Eamonn
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 2387
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2009
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Buyer-supplier relationships lie at the heart of interorganisational exchange markets and are a major focus of research in fields including supply chain management, strategy, organisational behaviour and marketing. Behind every purchasing relationship there are buyers and suppliers with diverse requirements, expectations and characteristics. This thesis explores that diversity in the context of perceptions of relationship success. A number of studies have reviewed models of business-to-business relationships from differing fields of literature, identifying various dimensions that are generally considered important in a relationship – communication, trust, success, commitment, adaptation, power and dependence. While relationship models and corresponding measurement instruments have been developed independently in a variety of contexts, there is little common agreement as to the interaction between relationship dimensions or the predictors of relationship success. This thesis explores the predictors of relationship success in long-term buyer-supplier relationships in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. A survey instrument is developed and proven to be reliable and valid for both buyers and suppliers, thus allowing direct comparison of relationship constructs. A multivariate analysis of nine independent variables with relationship success as the dependent variable indicates that while trust, adaptation and uncertainty reduction are predictors of success for the buyers, the sole significant predictor for suppliers is communication. This dichotomy in perception undermines the commonly held view that the relationship as perceived or reported on by one party is representative of the relationship as a whole. It shows that in order to get a full understanding of any given relationship, matched pair data is necessary. This work makes a contribution in the field of empirically-based models of buyer-supplier relationships by proving the existence of significant perceptual differences between buyers and suppliers. As a methodological contribution, the development of a valid, reliable survey instrument that can be used with both groups opens the way for further dyadic examination of relationship perceptions. This in turn will inform a more refined theory of buyer-supplier relationships. Finally, the thesis makes a contribution to practitioners by providing a better understanding for each member of the dyad of the other member’s perception of the relationship and suggesting mechanisms for improving relationship success.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: National Institute of Technology (U.S.) (NIT)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD Industries. Land use. Labor