Managing Computer Mediated Buyer-Supplier Relationship Integrity

Current project

School: Business

Please note, this project is more for a Research Programme than a singular project. 

Buyer-supplier relationships are now heavily reliant on computer mediated interactions. Almost all communication between buyer firm representatives and supplier firm representatives use email, chat, video, and other online formats to place orders, to track orders, to address emerging problems, to develop solutions, to gain insight, and, to manage relationships. Ensuring relationships progress in mutually beneficial ways, however, presents a series of challenges. This research programme seeks to address a number of them, including:

  • Protecting relationships. The use of computer-mediated communications in buyer-supplier relationships opens partners to potential vulnerabilities. There is scope for hacking, disinformation and systemic corruption. So how do relationship partners respond to and manage this?
  • Promoting sustainable relationships. The impetus to develop sustainable economic activity derives from the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. So, how can buyer firms and supplier firms engage each other sustainably, noting the triple bottom line (TBL) measures of economic, environmental and social sustainability?
  • Promoting resilient relationships. The reliance on global supply chains by many firms carries an inherent risk – what happens if the supply chain fails? Buyer firms must develop innovative approaches to anticipating risk and managing risk. So, how can firms encourage resilient relationships?
  • Gaining relationship insight. Many firms now have access to an abundance of relationship data. The emergence of business intelligence and analytics now allows firms to mine this data and to deduce meaningful insight regarding relationship partners. So, how might firms best manage their data and utilise it to gain relationship insights that add value to the firm?
  • Creating value through relationships. The multi-faceted nature of buyer-supplier relationships means that many individuals stand to gain (or loose) from the relationship, as do their work teams and their firms as a whole. So, how can partners (co)-create value? How can they avoid value co-destruction?

This research programme involves a variety of research designs popular in marketing, supply chain management, management, and/ or computer science. 

External Collaborators:

Cranfield University, England, United Kingdom

RMIT, Victoria, Australia