در حال توسعه عدالت اجتماعی در روابط خریدار تامین کننده: تأثیر مشروط انطباق روابط خاص
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21273||2014||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10057 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 151, May 2014, Pages 89–99
Strategic buyer–supplier relationships are increasingly viewed in both the scholarly and practitioner literatures as key drivers of sustainable competitive advantage. In particular, relationship specific adaptations – the extent to which exchange members make tangible or intangible adaptations for a partner – are acknowledged as one of the central issues. Such adaptations need to be examined in context, taking into consideration the social ties that connect a firm and its suppliers. Using the lens of social capital, we examine the contingent effect of buyer and supplier relationship adaptations, and structural and cognitive capital on the development of relational capital. A sample of 163 buyer–supplier relationships within UK manufacturing firms is used to test a series of three-way moderated regressions. The data indicate that the relationship between structural and cognitive forms of social capital and the level of relational capital is moderated by the extent of the relationship adaptations made by each firm and its supplier. Contrary to expectations, the relationship between cognitive capital and relational capital was significantly negative when high levels of buyer adaptations and supplier adaptations were present, indicating a substitution effect between cognitive capital and relationship adaptations. Structural capital was found to be most strongly related to relational capital when adaptations were reciprocated by both actors. However, unilateral adaptations by either actor resulted in significantly lower levels of relational capital as structural capital increased. Implications for theory and managers are discussed, relating to the impact of different combinations of relationship-specific adaptations on social capital components in a buyer–supplier relationship.
The formation and maintenance of social relationships between buyers and suppliers is regarded as one of the most difficult operational challenges for managerial decision makers (Johnston et al., 2004 and Narasimhan and Nair, 2005). According to the ‘relational view’ (Dyer and Singh, 1998), firms can leverage advantage in their social relationships by moving away from arm׳s-length exchanges, and instead focusing on specific investments, knowledge exchange, complementary competencies, and more effective governance mechanisms. Increasingly, the contribution of specific investments (relationship-adaptations) between buyers and suppliers is recognised as a key characteristic of strategic supplier relationships (Cannon and Perreault, 1999 and Luo et al., 2009). Dyer and Singh (1998, p. 662), for example, emphasize that relational rents can be realized when partners “combine, exchange, or invest in idiosyncratic assets…”. To date, however, much of the focus in this area has been on unilateral investments made by either the firm or its supplier, with little attention paid to the different combinations of buyer and supplier relationship-adaptations. The non-fungible nature of relationship-specific adaptations also means they are not easily transferable; they represent a sunken commitment with little value outside the relationship, adding further complexity to the managerial process. Using Social Capital Theory (SCT) as a lens through which to understand the complex nature of social exchange relationships (Carey et al., 2011, Krause et al., 2007 and Lawson et al., 2008), we examine the effect of buyer and supplier adaptations on the social fabric of strategic buyer–supplier relationships using the three dimensions of SCT: structural capital; cognitive capital; and, relational capital. SCT recognizes that relationships between actors in the supply chain are composed of people, and that the interactions between individuals shape the relationship and its effectiveness (Ketchen Jr. and Hult, 2007). The value of social capital and its dimensions also depends on contingent and moderating factors (Maurer and Ebers, 2006), like relationship-specific adaptations, which are unique to the relationship, as opposed to exogenous environmental factors over which managers have little influence. Our paper thus helps decision makers within the firm to address the important question of if, to what extent, and under what conditions, they should make relationship-specific investments in their strategic partner. To date, there has been limited testing of this in a supply chain context. Specifically, there is a paucity of work considering the contingent effect of adaptations made by the buyer and supplier on the relationship between structural capital, cognitive capital and relational capital. Described as one of the most important dimensions of buyer–supplier relationship performance (Williamson, 1985), relationship adaptations are not made in a vacuum and need to be examined in context, taking into consideration the social ties that connect both actors, and the duration of the relationship (Hwang, 2006). Some work has examined buyer adaptations and supplier adaptations as individual constructs, with different motivators and performance outcomes (Joshi and Stump, 1999 and Schmidt and Tyler, 2007). However, increasingly both decision makers and academics are concerned with the impact of joint or reciprocal adaptations, where both buyers and suppliers make idiosyncratic, non-transferable changes for the other actor. We develop and test a theoretical model which examines these constructs of interest. Closely tied, inter-organizational relationships are presented as infrastructure which is crucial for supporting resources (adaptations) contributed by both actors (Luo et al., 2009). Consistent with previous literature (Carey et al., 2011 and Nahapiet and Ghoshal, 1998), cognitive capital and structural capital are positioned as the infrastructure, or building blocks, of strategic buyer–supplier relationships. We then examine the contingent effect of relationship-specific adaptations made by the firm and its supplier on the relationship between these building blocks, and the development of relational capital. Previous work has indicated that cognitive capital and structural capital are antecedent factors in the development of relational capital (Carey et al., 2011 and Tsai and Ghoshal, 1998). This study develops this research further by examining the contingent effect of relationship-specific adaptions made by the buyer and the supplier on the relationships between cognitive capital, and structural capital, and the development of relational capital. Rather than creating a perceived lock-in situation, we argue that adaptations made by buyer and supplier act as a joint signal of commitment and perceived relationship longevity, reinforcing the positive effect of frequent and diverse social interaction ties (structural capital) and shared vision, norms and values (cognitive capital). A series of three-way interaction hypotheses are tested which posit that relationship-specific adaptations made by buyer and supplier act to complement cognitive capital and structural capital, thereby increasing the level of relational capital in the relationship. This paper makes a number of contributions to the literature. First, where previous research has typically assumed that the relationships between SCT dimensions are direct (cf. Villena et al., 2011), we add a contingent view by examining the role of relationship adaptations on relational capital development. The literature has also viewed relationship-specific adaptations made by buyer or supplier (Artz, 1999), or the combination of both (Poppo et al., 2008). Our paper provides a more nuanced view of the relationship by examining, via three-way moderated regressions, the effect on relational capital of buyer adaptations, supplier adaptations, and cognitive or structural capital. Thus, whilst our regression controls for all combinations of two-way interactions in our analysis, our interest is in gaining a more detailed understanding of the dynamics around relationship-specific investments and social capital. Second, in contrast to previous studies highlighting the need to safeguard against opportunism in the presence of relationship-specific adaptations (Lonsdale, 2001, Mesquita and Brush, 2008 and Poppo and Zenger, 2002), we provide evidence that reciprocal adaptations can fulfil an assurance role (Rokkan et al., 2003). In doing so, we take a contrasting approach to studies (Mukherji and Francis, 2008) that position adaptations as an outcome of exchange, by adopting a process view of relationship adaptations. Our findings are relevant for practitioners as they refine understandings of the interplay between social capital dimensions and relationship-specific adaptations, relevant for decisions related to safeguarding the relationship, effective resource allocation and supplier relationship development. The remainder of the paper proceeds as follows. The theoretical rationale which informs this study is developed first, followed by the development of our hypotheses. An overview of the research adopted is then provided, followed by the presentation of results. In the final section, the managerial and theoretical implications of the study are discussed.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Effective buyer–supplier relationships depend, in part, on the actions of both firms in how they interact socially (structural capital), the norms of the relationship (cognitive capital), and the specific investments they make in plant, process and processes. Applying a social capital theory lens, our study examined the dynamics of social context and tangible relationship-specific adaptations by buyers and suppliers. We show that, depending on the combination of joint or asymmetric relationship-specific investments made by the parties, varying levels of relational capital will result. We also add to a growing body of literature which views adaptations, not as an exchange hazard to be reactively guarded against, but a proactive relationship development tool which bonds the actors together. Further investigation of relationship-specific adaptations and relational aspects of buyer–supplier exchange processes is encouraged.