Predicting Supply Chain Dyadic Relationship Success: A Qualitative Study of Dyads in Australia

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Downard, Andrew (2018) Predicting Supply Chain Dyadic Relationship Success: A Qualitative Study of Dyads in Australia. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Supply chain dyadic relationships are considered important to effective supply chain management. Hence measuring the state of supply chain dyadic relationships (SCDR) between a buyer and a supplier is necessary. A number of methods to measure the dyadic relationship have been proposed by researchers. A review of the extant literature on these relationship measurement systems has revealed some areas for improvement. It reveals that existing systems overly focus on a limited range of elements, such as trust or collaboration, and do not always contain all the elements that make up a successful SCDR. A second shortfall lies in measurement approaches which assume a fully developed relationship so that participants have a good understanding of the other party in relation to inter-personal vs inter-organisational, and psychological contract vs physical contract. A better measurement system would predict future relationship success at the earliest stages of the relationship formation. Drawing on transaction cost economics (TCE) and social exchange theory (SET) perspectives, this research, therefore, aims to gain a deeper understanding of the dyadic relationship measurement elements and improving them further to make up a list of holistic SCDR elements with a focus on predicting the supply chain relationship success. The research has used multi-stage approach in a longitudinal study. The first stage of the research was a literature review to isolate the SCDR elements previously identified. These elements were then confirmed via interviews with an expert panel of practitioners with experience operating within SCDRs. Participants were gathered from both the buy side and sell side of the relationship. The second stage of the research used these qualified SCDR elements to develop a questionnaire that attempted to predict the future state of that relationship. This questionnaire was administered via an on-line platform to a small number of early stage SCDRs. Results were fed back to the participating dyads for comment. Finally, after a period of six months had elapsed, a follow up interview was held to find out whether the predictions from the assessment were accurate. The results of the research indicated that the SCDR elements from the literature were confirmed by the expert panel with the addition of ‘culture matching’ as a new element. The questionnaire was found to be useful by the participants in stage two and in each case the results were a prediction of SCDR success. This was confirmed by the follow up interviews after more than six months had occurred with all participants intending to continue with the relationship. The creation and testing of the SCDR assessment tool has a number of potentially useful implications. Theoretically, the elements that make up a supply chain dyadic relationship (SCDR) from the literature have been confirmed and enhanced by the addition of culture matching. This helps researchers to understand how SCDRs work when formulating future research projects. Confirmation that it is feasible to predict the likely success of a relationship, be it a SCDR or other business relationship, is also likely to be useful in future research. For management practices, supply chain executives will have access to a tool that pays attention to the organisational culture that can be used to predict success or potential failure of a putative SCDR. This will be a useful aid to help practitioners to avoid the expense of replacing an unsuccessful SCDR, which can be disruptive and expensive, as a result of cultural issues, solely or partially. Options for management can include exiting the unsuccessful relationship early, thereby limiting the sunk costs in the relationship. Alternatively, a prediction of relationship problems, as specifically identified by the model, would enable the parties to take corrective action early to move the relationship into a successful position.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Current > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords supply chain; dyadic relationships; supply chain dyadic relationship; SCDR; transaction cost economics; TCE; social exchange theory; SET
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