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Relational Adaptation in Buyer-Supplier Relationship Management: A Synthesis of Effects of Exchange Hazards, Relational Norms, and Legitimacy

  • S. Sheng

    (School of Business - Adelphi University)

  • Y. Bao

    (College of Business Administration - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

  • L. Lessassy

    (CERAG - Centre d'études et de recherches appliquées à la gestion - Grenoble 2 UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - CNRS, Grenoble 2 UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France)

  • K. H. Lai

    (Depatment of logistics and maritime studies - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

  • T. Leung

    (Department of Management and Marketing - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

  • Christina Wong

    (Institute of Textiles and Clothing - the Hong Kong Polytechnic University - Institute of Textiles and Clothing)

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    Purpose - This paper aims to advance buyer-supplier relationship management research by integrating transaction cost economics, social exchange theory, and institutional theory. The specific purpose is to identify the determinants of relational adaptation in the service relationship. Design/methodology/approach - This study used a field survey to collect data. It used structural equation modeling for data analyses. It collected data from the population of supplier organizations of a focal firm, which is an international container port terminal operator. Findings - We find that that transaction specific investment, business uncertainty, trust, and social respect are positively related to a supplier's relational adaptation. Research limitations/implications - this research provides a synthesis of effects of exchange hazards, relational norms, and legitimacy to explain a supplier's adaptation behaviors. Practical implications - Our study has several managerial implications that are helpful for firms to elicit adaptation from their partner firms. First, specific investment can be useful to serve as an interfirm governance mechanism to attain relational adaptation. Second, the development of trust and social respect in customer relationship is important for firms to attain relational adaptation. Originality/value - The novelty of this paper lies in an integrative synthesis of transaction cost economics, social exchange theory, and institutional theory. Based on three different mechanisms, we provide a holistic explanation for relational adaptation behaviors in buy-supplier relationship.

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    Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number halshs-00660291.

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    Date of creation: 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00660291
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    1. JS Armstrong & Terry Overton, 2005. "Estimating Nonresponse Bias in Mail Surveys," General Economics and Teaching 0502044, EconWPA.
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