Buyer-supplier relationship development: An empirical study among Dutch purchasing professionals

M.C.J. Caniels, C. Gelderman, J.M. Ulijn

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Case study based literature on relationship development presents in-depth information on contextual factors in relationship development. However, little quantitativeevidence is available about key aspects of buyer-supplier relationships in each stageof its development, such as the level of trust/commitment, buyer’s and supplier’sdependence. The study will try to fill this gap by identifying and quantifying theseaspects from the buyer’s perspective in each development stage. A comprehensive survey among 238 Dutch purchasing professionals provides evidence on howthese characteristics of relationships change when relationships develop over time.The results largely confirm the hypotheses, which stem from the extant literatureabout organizational dependence and trust/commitment. A notable finding is thatthe buyer perceives to be dependent on the supplier, even in a desirable relationship. Managerial implications are that: (1) industrial marketers should be awarethat professional purchasers feel dominated by them, even in relationships that arepositively evaluated and therefore desirable in the view of the buyer; and (2) thatpurchasers should be aware that dependence implies vulnerability, even when therelationship is still developing in an otherwise desirable way
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)107-137
    Number of pages30
    JournalJournal of Enterprising Culture
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • byer-supplier relations
    • trust
    • dependence
    • relationship development


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