اثر رفتارهای خریدار در وضعیت ترجیحی مشتری و دسترسی به نوآوری تکنولوژیکی تامین کننده : مطالعه تجربی برداشت های تامین کننده
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|2307||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||10999 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 41, Issue 8, November 2012, Pages 1259–1269
Buying firms are increasingly looking to suppliers for technological innovations that enhance the competitive position of their new products. However, extant research provides limited guidance on how buying firms may gain access to suppliers' innovative technologies. To address this gap in the literature, we draw from social exchange theory to posit sequential relationships among buyer behaviors, preferred customer status, and supplier's willingness to share technological innovations. We test our assertions by applying structural equation modeling statistical analyses to survey response data from 233 sales personnel of production good suppliers in the U.S. automotive industry. Whereas our results show that two buyer behaviors – early supplier involvement and relational reliability – positively affect preferred customer status, a third behavior – share of sales – has no effect. In turn, we find that preferred customer status is positively associated with supplier's willingness to share new technology with the buyer. Further, our findings indicate that preferred customer status fully mediates the benefits exchanged within a buyer–supplier relationship. Hence, our study highlights why buyers seeking innovations should take care that their behavior is appropriate for managing suppliers' perceptions. Accordingly, our results provide specific guidance to buyers as to how they may increase their access to suppliers' new technologies.
Increasingly, firms are relying on external sources of technology to drive new product innovations (Chesbrough, 2003a). For many firms, the new product development process is evolving from a traditional, highly controlled, proprietary approach to one in which inter-organizational exchange of knowledge, resources, and capabilities drives technological innovation (Chesbrough, 2003b, Chesbrough, 2003c and Dodgson et al., 2006). Reliance on externally-driven innovation allows firms to focus on core competencies and minimize internal research and development investment, while improving innovation performance (McIvor and Humphreys, 2004, Ragatz et al., 1997 and Swink, 1999). As a result, firms are increasingly looking to leverage the innovative capabilities of their suppliers (Roberts, 2001, Slowinski et al., 2009 and Wagner, 2009). Looking to suppliers for innovation makes sense, as research suggests that suppliers represent a key source of technological innovation for buying firms. As products become more complex and manufacturers outsource more components, there is an increasing tendency to use suppliers as sources for new ideas to improve products and develop technical solutions to difficult design problems (Swink & Mabert, 2000). Access to supplier innovations and technologies may enable buying firms to fill gaps in their product technology portfolio (Gianiodis, Ellis, & Secchi, 2010), improve the quality and timeliness of product designs (Primo & Amundson, 2002), reduce product costs (Cooper & Yoshikawa, 1994), and gain first-mover advantages in product markets (Hartley, Zirger, et al., 1997). Though highly beneficial (Petersen, Handfield, & Ragatz, 2005), extant research provides limited guidance on how buying firms may gain access to suppliers' innovative technologies. Best practices, such as involving a supplier early in the new product development process, do not always yield access to suppliers' new technologies (Wagner, 2012). Further, access to supplier technology may prove particularly challenging as technological innovations valued by a buying firm are likely to be similarly valued by its competitors (Schiele, 2012 and Steinle and Schiele, 2008). To address this limitation in extant literature, we develop and test a conceptual model of technological innovation-sharing that incorporates the mediating role of preferred customer status. With the buying situation as our unit of analysis, we draw from Blau's (1986) social exchange theory to conceptualize preferred customer status as a supplier's perception of a buying firm's relative attractiveness. We theorize that a buying firm's provision of inducements – accounting for a substantive share of the supplier's sales, involving the supplier in its new product development process, and reliably fulfilling implicit and explicit promises made to the supplier – promote the buying firm's status as a preferred customer. In turn, we suggest that norms of fair exchange motivate suppliers to reciprocate by providing benefits, such as access to new proprietary technologies, to preferred customers. Hence, using survey response data describing 233 buying situations, we examine how preferred customer status mediates the benefits exchanged within a buyer–supplier relationship. Drawing from social exchange theory, this study contributes to the buyer–supplier relationship management literature in two important ways. First, our research builds on prior studies of preferred customer status by incorporating supplier perceptions. Whereas previous research assesses preferred customer status through buyers' perceptions of supplier interaction (e.g., Schiele, Veldman, & Huttinger, 2011), our study shows how buyers' behaviors differentially affect suppliers' views of preferred customer status. Second, in contrast to previous scholarly work that directly links buyer behaviors and supplier reciprocity (e.g., Zhang, Henke, & Griffith, 2009), our study shows that preferred customer status fully mediates this relationship. Hence, our results suggest the importance of managing a supplier's qualitative perceptions of an exchange relationship by showing that suppliers share technological innovations with preferred customers.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our results contribute to a burgeoning stream of extant literature that is largely limited to the conceptual development (Hald et al., 2009, Ramsay and Wagner, 2009 and Schiele, 2012) or empirical validation of the consequences (Schiele et al., 2011) of preferred customer status. We leverage social exchange theory to find that inducements, such as a buying firm's involvement of a supplier in its new product development process and a buying firm's reliable fulfillment of relational commitments, facilitate a supplier's perception of a buying firm as a preferred customer, which in turn, motivates suppliers to willingly share new technologies with the buying firm. Hence, this study demonstrates to purchasing managers the importance of adopting supply management practices that reinforce their firm's image as a supplier's best customer. Through such efforts, buying firms can maximize the value inherent within an exchange relationship. While this study has several salient theoretical and managerial implications, three potential limitations should be noted. First, 43.8% of completed questionnaires rely on a single respondent to provide data for both independent and dependent variables within our model; this raises threats to validity stemming from common method bias. However, results of Harman's one-factor test, Lindell and Whitney's (2001) marker variable test, and confirmatory factor analysis suggest that the risks attributable to common method bias are minimal. Second, the fit statistics for our structural model (e.g., TLI = .951 and RMSEA = .060) minimally meet the combinatorial heuristics for acceptable model fit (i.e., TLI ≥ .95 and RMSEA ≤ .060) advanced by Hu and Bentler (1999 p. 27). As such, our model fit results may reflect the nascent stage of preferred customer research and suggest the importance of future research that advances refined theory. Third, our research focuses on exchange relationships between a focal automotive OEM and its U.S. suppliers. While this may limit the generalizability of our results, our research methodology facilitates a relatively high response rate (64%) and affords “greater control over sources of extraneous variation due to industry characteristics, noise, and the like” (Mohr & Spekman, 1994 p. 140), enhancing the internal validity of our study (Cook & Campbell, 1979). Further, extensive empirical evidence shows that Tier 1 U.S. suppliers, including those in our study, sell direct materials to multiple automotive OEM's; accordingly, we submit that our results adequately characterize exchange behaviors that permeate the broader automotive industry. Our results may also be applicable to industries that have similar structural characteristics as the automotive industry. As such, our results may generalize to industries characterized by complex final products, high capital intensity, powerful buyers, suppliers that substantially influence end-product quality, and high-value recurring transactions (i.e., $500 k per annum, minimum) between buyers and suppliers. Many industries, including the aircraft, aircraft engine, semiconductor, medical device, and consumer products industries, share these structural characteristics. Despite these potential limitations, our study provides a fruitful platform for future research. In particular, our results suggest the importance of understanding the social implications of supply management practices. While we draw from social exchange theory to suggest that interaction, expected value, trust, and dependence serve as the underlying theoretical mechanisms that link buying firm behaviors and preferred customer status, this assertion deserves further empirical scrutiny. Further, social exchange theory suggests that several supply management practices, beyond the scope of new product development, may influence a buying firm's status as preferred customer. Hence, future research may assess the effects of a broad array of practices, including supplier development, pressure, evaluation, and cost management, on preferred customer status (Krause, 1999 and Zsidisin et al., 2003). Similarly, preferred customer status may yield several benefits to the buying firm in addition to technology access. Consideration should be given to how preferred customer status influences suppliers' responsiveness to unexpected problems, suppliers' willingness to share proprietary product market data, and suppliers' efforts to link preferred customers with other valued partners within suppliers' exchange networks (Schiele, 2012).