Buyer opportunism in strategic supplier relationships: triggers, manifestations and consequences

C. Gelderman*, J. Semeijn, Mark Verhappen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Opportunistic behavior is a well-known reason for the failure of collaborative buyer-supplier relationships. Despite the numerous studies on opportunism in buyersupplier relationships, the individual level is largely understudied. We explore opportunistic behavior of purchasing professionals in strategic supplier relationships, focusing on triggers, manifestations and consequences. The Critical Incident Technique (CIT) was employed to interview professional purchasers in the Netherlands about their personal opportunistic behavior. This resulted in rich descriptions of 29 critical incidents of opportunistic buyer behavior, extracting first-hand information. We identified triggers that provoked purchasing professionals to behave opportunistically. These triggers are linked to specific manifestations and consequences.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100581
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • buyer opportunism, strategic supplier partnerships, critical incident technique


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