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Buyer-Supplier Relationships in Small Firms

Buyer-Supplier Relationships in Small Firms This article explores customer and supplier relationships from the perspective of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A critique of supply chain literature highlights some key problems when research on purchasing behaviour, based on larger firms, is applied to SMEs. Issues considered include the dominance of ideas that depend on the practices of large firms and the assumed homogeneity of the SME population. This article sets out an alternative rationale for exploring what SMEs ‘do’ in terms of purchasing behaviour. The empirical studies outlined explore three groups of firms. The pilot stage, upon which a questionnaire was developed, involved interviews with six plastic moulding companies. Two subsequent surveys were carried out using this questionnaire; the first a general control group across the SME population and the second, a specific purposive sample of steel-based manufacturing companies. The results illustrate the important role of social factors in the management of relationships. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Small Business Journal SAGE

Buyer-Supplier Relationships in Small Firms

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References (52)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
0266-2426
eISSN
1741-2870
DOI
10.1177/0266242606063433
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article explores customer and supplier relationships from the perspective of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). A critique of supply chain literature highlights some key problems when research on purchasing behaviour, based on larger firms, is applied to SMEs. Issues considered include the dominance of ideas that depend on the practices of large firms and the assumed homogeneity of the SME population. This article sets out an alternative rationale for exploring what SMEs ‘do’ in terms of purchasing behaviour. The empirical studies outlined explore three groups of firms. The pilot stage, upon which a questionnaire was developed, involved interviews with six plastic moulding companies. Two subsequent surveys were carried out using this questionnaire; the first a general control group across the SME population and the second, a specific purposive sample of steel-based manufacturing companies. The results illustrate the important role of social factors in the management of relationships.

Journal

International Small Business JournalSAGE

Published: Jun 1, 2006

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