China’s economy is transforming at a brisk pace. A partially dismantled command economy and introduction of competition have fueled consumer demand for a greater selection of innovative new products in the retail market. The challenge for retail buyers is to adjust their procurement processes to respond to consumer needs in an efficient and effective manner. This study examines factors influencing buyer‐supplier relationships in a transition economy. We present a model to explain the factors driving retail buyer dependence on suppliers. We find that retailer evaluation of supplier credibility mediates the relationship between retailer perceptions of a supplier ability to add value to its business and the ability to achieve its desired goals. In part, this is due to the supplier’s market orientation. Interestingly, guanxi ties have no impact on the retailer perceptions of the supplier credibility, but have a positive affect on retailer dependence on its supplier partners.
Journal of Asia Business Studies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Sep 1, 2008
Keywords: China; Buyer‐supplier relationships; Dependence