Doctor of Philosophy
Date of Defense
Ray A. Mundy, PhD.
John L. Kent
Supply Chain Management (SCM) often requires independent organizations to work together to achieve shared objectives. This collaboration is necessary when coordinated actions benefit the group more than the uncoordinated efforts of individual firms. Collaboration is a key dimension of SCM, and it has numerous key dimensions of its own. These include information sharing, resource sharing, decision synchronization, incentive alignment, goal congruence, joint knowledge creation, and collaborative communication. Trust and commitment are also key factors that intertwine with these dimensions. Successful implementation of these types of collaborative relationships can lead to a collaborative advantage, where firms working together achieve greater success than they would have alone. Recent research has indicated that collaboration attempts between firms in supply chains have not been as widespread as anticipated. This is despite the commonly reported benefits that may be gained by working together, which may be attributed to traditional business practices where innovation-driving competition between firms is commonplace. A large cause of this might be that academics are far outreaching practitioners with where collaboration should be in its present state of practice. This research investigates the progress the purchasing function of global organizations has made in achieving collaboration in supply chain relationships, ranging from firms practicing a silo mentality to firms working together to compete with other supply chains. Input is solicited from purchasing professionals with a survey and a series of semi-structured interviews in an effort to present a current snapshot of the utilization of collaboration in procurement and how supply chains can transition to more collaborative structures in the future. Results from the data analysis indicate that true collaboration is not yet present in buyer-supplier relationships. Although certain key collaboration initiatives are present, such as information sharing, other critical aspects like trust are not yet widespread. Therefore, firms and supply chains still have room for improvement in order to achieve the close relationships required in order to collaboratively practice supply chain management. Finally, more research is identified to further progress the field and to gain an improved understanding of the complex relationships necessary for true collaboration.
Boyce, Wesley S., "Supply Chain Relationships in Procurement: Is Collaboration Reality?" (2014). Dissertations. 233.