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Using a Dual-Sourcing Option in the Presence of Asymmetric Information About Supplier Reliability: Competition vs. Diversification


  • Zhibin (Ben) Yang

    () (Lundquist College of Business, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon 97403)

  • Göker Aydın

    () (Kelley School of Business, Indiana University-Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana 47405)

  • Volodymyr Babich

    () (McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, Washington DC 20057)

  • Damian R. Beil

    () (Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109)


We study a buyer's strategic use of a dual-sourcing option when facing suppliers possessing private information about their disruption likelihood. We solve for the buyer's optimal procurement contract. We show that the optimal contract can be interpreted as the buyer choosing between diversification and competition benefits. Better information increases diversification benefits and decreases competition benefits. Therefore, with better information the buyer is more inclined to diversify. Moreover, better information may increase or decrease the value of the dual-sourcing option, depending on the buyer's unit revenue: for large revenue, the buyer uses the dual sourcing option for diversification, the benefits of which increase with information; for small revenue, the buyer uses the dual sourcing option for competition, the benefits of which decrease with information. Surprisingly, as the reliability of the entire supply base decreases, the buyer may stop diversifying under asymmetric information (to leverage competition), whereas it would never do so under symmetric information. Finally, we analyze the effect of codependence between supply disruptions. We find that lower codependence leads the buyer to rely less on competition. Because competition keeps the information costs in check, a reduction in supplier codependence increases the buyer's value of information. Therefore, strategic actions to reduce codependence between supplier disruptions should not be seen as a substitute for learning about suppliers' reliabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhibin (Ben) Yang & Göker Aydın & Volodymyr Babich & Damian R. Beil, 2012. "Using a Dual-Sourcing Option in the Presence of Asymmetric Information About Supplier Reliability: Competition vs. Diversification," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 14(2), pages 202-217, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:14:y:2012:i:2:p:202-217

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ivanov, Dmitry & Pavlov, Alexander & Pavlov, Dmitry & Sokolov, Boris, 2017. "Minimization of disruption-related return flows in the supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(PB), pages 503-513.
    2. repec:eee:ejores:v:263:y:2017:i:2:p:446-460 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:proeco:v:194:y:2017:i:c:p:88-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:eee:ejores:v:265:y:2018:i:2:p:533-543 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Gao, Long, 2015. "Collaborative forecasting, inventory hedging and contract coordination in dynamic supply risk management," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 245(1), pages 133-145.
    6. Yang, Yuefeng & Xu, Xuerong, 2015. "Post-disaster grain supply chain resilience with government aid," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 139-159.
    7. Begen, Mehmet A. & Pun, Hubert & Yan, Xinghao, 2016. "Supply and demand uncertainty reduction efforts and cost comparison," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 125-134.
    8. repec:eee:ejores:v:264:y:2018:i:3:p:1101-1115 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Sheu, Jiuh-Biing, 2016. "Supplier hoarding, government intervention, and timing for post-disaster crop supply chain recovery," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 134-160.
    10. Qi, Lian & Shi, Jim (Junmin) & Xu, Xiaowei, 2015. "Supplier competition and its impact on firm׳s sourcing strategy," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 91-110.
    11. Rothkopf, Alexander & Pibernik, Richard, 2016. "Maverick buying: Eliminate, participate, leverage?," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 179(C), pages 77-89.
    12. Zeng, Amy Z. & Xia, Yu, 2015. "Building a mutually beneficial partnership to ensure backup supply," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 77-91.
    13. Schmitt, Amanda J. & Sun, Siyuan Anthony & Snyder, Lawrence V. & Shen, Zuo-Jun Max, 2015. "Centralization versus decentralization: Risk pooling, risk diversification, and supply chain disruptions," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 201-212.
    14. Heese, H. Sebastian, 2015. "Single versus multiple sourcing and the evolution of bargaining positions," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 125-133.


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