روابط همکاری خریدار تامین کننده: فراتر از حساب های هنجاری
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21172||2014||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7376 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Volume 12, Issue 5, September 2006, Pages 236–245
This paper presents a critique of the normative, buyer–supplier literature and in addition suggests that the more empirically based literature needs to expand its scope of attention beyond its traditional confines. Four main deficiencies are identified within much of the existing buyer–supplier literature. Firstly, collaborative buyer–supplier theories fail to discriminate sufficiently between individual and firm-level buyer–supplier decision-making. Secondly, the stage models of relationship development are challenged. Thirdly, the interdependencies between buyer–supplier relations and other, competing organisational priorities are highlighted. Fourthly, we question the monolithic constructs of organisational ‘commitment’ and ‘trust’ underpinning much existing relationship-marketing literature. Examples are presented of collaborative buyer–supplier practice drawn from multi-sector case study research of customer-responsive supply chains. We argue that, even in exemplary circumstances, collaborative relationship practices are susceptible to failure due to wider organisational and behavioural issues. We conclude that researchers and management practitioners need to pay more attention to these issues if sustainable benefits derived from advances in buyer–supplier understanding are to be realised.
Fast-moving, volatile market conditions with short product life cycles carry far-reaching implications for production processes, the way companies are organised and the way their supply chains operate. For example, it is argued that the mass production system with its emphasis on economies of scale and leanness becomes problematical in those product markets where variability and uncertainty prevail. Responsiveness to more demanding customers and turbulent markets are concerns that are shared across sectors. Traditionally, demand uncertainty has been counteracted by attempts to hold sufficient inventories to meet fluctuations. This is increasingly viewed as a wasteful and untenable response. A ‘customer-responsive supply chain’ would mean a chain which could operate with the absolute minimum of stock-out events, with prompt response to market fluctuations, and yet while carrying minimal buffer stocks. Balancing these requirements is plainly a difficult managerial task and it is made more than doubly difficult if co-operation from organisations up and down stream is less than certain. The management of interfirm relationships has for this and other reasons received extensive attention (for example, Child and Faulkner, 1998; Yoshino and Rangan, 1995). This paper has two main aims: firstly, it presents a critique of the existing buyer–supplier literature, much of which is, we suggest highly normative and other parts of which, though empirically grounded, are too narrowly focused. Secondly, it suggests that greater understanding of the human and organisational behaviour implications of collaborative working arrangements are needed if practitioners are to manage collaborative buyer–supplier relationships successfully. These ambitions are crystallised in the following research question: To what extent does existing theory account for the reality of effective collaborative buyer–supplier relationship management in practice? We address this question in two parts: firstly we provide a review of the buyer–supplier literature and secondly, we present and discuss four case examples of collaborative buyer–supplier management practice. These cases were intensively researched during a three year study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
These cases reveal the nature, and extent, of the gap between theorised depictions in organisational buyer–supplier, supply chain and retail logistics literatures and the management reality on the ground. Much of this literature, as described earlier in the paper, tends to treat organisations (business-to-business buyers and sellers) as virtual individuals who make calculated rational choices. Traditional survey research seeks the variables which are supposedly weighed by the actors most closely associated with the process. But, the reality, as we found in these cases, demonstrates that supply chain collaboration and inter-organisational relationships more generally are not salient on the corporate agendas of other, more senior directors. In line with Cousins and Spekman, (2003) we found buyer–supplier relationships are developed at a more operational level and they therefore remain vulnerable to changes in corporate policy which intrude upon established, emergent, practices. Our case studies show that collaborative buyer–supplier relationship development is technically feasible. Empirical examples such as these can be found in many different industrial settings. This is an important finding. For a short period at least, and in circumscribed conditions, collaborative development can deliver huge advantages. But, the study also reveals that even when it works, this is no guarantee of managerial support for its continuance. The difficulties described here can be found in even more exaggerated form in many other circumstances. The identification of the nature and importance of these behavioural dynamics helps to correct for the naivety in much of the existing literature about inter-form ‘co-operation’ and ‘collaboration’. Our body of case study evidence therefore widens the scope of existing findings (Boddy et al., 1998; Boddy et al., 2000) as well as providing significant empirical data to support our, and others’ similar, theoretical critique (Bresnen, 1996). These case studies generate some important challenges to the now very considerable body of literature on business to business buyer–supplier relationships and the literature on supply chain management. There are four main underlying assumptions and claims in those literatures which ought to be re-addressed in the light of this evidence. First, there is an assumption underpinning much of the buyer–supplier relationship literature, and the supply chain management literature that firms act in a similar manner as individual-decision makers might do in considering and weighing a series of options. This is especially evident in the literature built around the idea that buyers spend time calculating which suppliers to develop and which ones merit the investment needed to maintain an ongoing relationships. The study suggests that these calculations, in so far as they do occur, are made rather more at an operational level and that as a result their outcomes can be easily over-ridden by competing corporate level priorities. For example, Morgan and Hunt (1994, p. 24) claim ‘buyers’ anticipation of high switching costs gives rise to an interest in maintaining a quality relationship’. These two interrelated notions (that buying organisations necessarily enter into rational open debate about such factors, and second, that anticipated costs are rationally weighed against each other) were challenged by the findings of our studies. These kinds of issues were not, in practice, openly debated in such terms in any sustained way even in these large sophisticated companies. Rather, the case studies reveal starkly how alternative corporate strategies and priorities can rudely interrupt and easily brush aside organisational collaborative relationships. Second, our cases also challenge the widely canvassed notion that buyer–supplier relationships proceed in a number of incremental ‘stages’ (Dwyer et al., 1987; Johnston and Lewin, 1996; Robinson et al., 1967; Sheth, 1973; Webster and Wind, 1972; Wilson, 1995). The eight stage model outlined by Johnston and Lewin (1996) and built on earlier work of Robinson et al. (1967), Webster and Wind (1972), and Sheth (1973) were evidently not in play in these cases. This supposedly rational, process of search and decision in a series of logical phases does not accord with the more tentative, and iterative reality that we encountered. Indeed, as our research clearly reveals, much more to the fore is a contrary pattern—one which required champions of the various initiatives to continually have to re-convince buyers, and indeed other actors, within their own and as well as in customer or supplier organisations. Third, in the cases recounted, there were strong competing ideas flourishing in other parts of buyer and supplying organisations and at higher levels. Hence, collaborative supply chain initiatives, despite their positive financial and technical logics and proven outcomes continued to be at risk. Arrangements not only have to be regarded as worthwhile under benign conditions, they have also to be sustainable and seen as worth preserving when difficult conditions were encountered. Above all, as these cases illustrate, the converts and enthusiasts on both sides may be too few. Ideas do not always permeate the collaborating companies; essentially remaining in the heads and working practices of just a handful of people. Thus, collaborative practices were at risk when people moved posts or when alternative priorities swept away the arrangement as a sacrifice on the altar of supposedly ‘bigger’ ideas. Fourth, the dominant theme in the buyer–supplier relationship literature of ‘commitment’ and ‘trust’ in relationship marketing and buyer–supplier collaboration (Dwyer et al., 1987; Morgan and Hunt, 1994; Young and Wilkinson, 1989) needs reconceptualising. The reason is that this literature is constructed on the basis of organisations operating as unitary entities which engage in ‘trusting’ or ‘committed’ relationships depending on known variables. But, as our research has shown, organisations labelled as ‘buyers’ or ‘sellers’ in fact contain multiple agents. They are engaged in intra-organisational as well as inter-organisational negotiations. The operational staff who may have built up trust and commitment as a result of interaction are subject to commands and instructions from seniors who have different experiences and other agendas. The essential theme of the trust and commitment literature is the co-operative aspects of economic behaviour. Analysts within this mode emphasis and usually extol ‘norms of sharing and commitment based on trust’ (Achrol 1991, p. 89). Within the relationship marketing literature, commitment and trust are indeed claimed to be the key concepts but, as our study emphasises, while some actors may build such trust and commitment across organisational boundaries they can be overridden in their decision making by corporate chiefs. Here, our findings resonate with the empirical findings of Boddy et al., 1998 and Boddy et al., 2000 who identified the weakness of over-reliance on good, interpersonal relationships and theorised the ‘contextual confusion’ that may exist between those implementing partnering and other, more senior organisational actors. Cox (2001) has suggested that far greater attention need be paid to power structures if theory pertaining to the fashioning of extended, dynamic collaborative relationships is to be developed. In addition, our empirical findings present a challenge to current management practice. As others have suggested (Boddy et al., 2000; Christopher and Juttner, 2000), developing collaborative buyer–supplier relationships is an uncertain and unpredictable business. Even if collaborative relationship management was perceived to be a strategic priority, differences of opinion and unexpected outcomes were evident. Sustained, co-ordinated, adaptive action is required within and between organisational actors if hard-won benefits are to be realised and sustained. Clearly, this represents significant behavioural challenges which even in these most of promising cases, current corporate actors’ appeared to lack the agency to address. To summarise, this paper challenges the prevalent view of normative, collaborative buyer–supplier relationships within much buyer–supplier management theory. The appealing, logical, notions of ‘customer-responsive supply chain management’ and the collaborative buyer–supplier relationship which underpin it, so elegantly described in the normative literature are thus found in practice to be prone to a number of critical organisational and behavioural barriers. Competing organisational strategies threaten even effective, established supply chain solutions. The most carefully planned, technically sophisticated and well-implemented initiatives can be easily overridden. In these respects, our cases reflect the findings of others adopting interactional and power-sensitive approaches (Boddy et al., 2000; Cox, 2001; Ford, 1990; Hakansson and Snehota, 1995; Gadde and Hakansson, 2001). However, our case studies also cast doubt on any current, generally positive, ‘trend’ in the position of supply management (Cousins and Spekman, 2003), even within these leading examples of practice. Our research suggests that, rather than the measured, temporal displacement of one network strategy by another, multiple initiatives co-exist. Differing individual and organisational perspectives mean that a continual process of negotiation and re-negotiation constitutes the reality of many buyer–supplier relationships. In order to progress, and to make a practical impact, collaborative buyer–supplier research and literature will need to take much fuller account of these realities. Our research suggests that the logically deduced and hypothetically tested models of collaborative buyer–supplier relationships as spelled out in the extant literature are not wrong: rather they are insufficient. Greater attention to how they operate in practice—and their limitations even when practised in unusually skilful ways—can contribute to more nuanced theory and more artful practice.