Temporary De-Embedding Buyer-Supplier Relationships: A Complexity Perspective

53 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2017

See all articles by Fabian Sting

Fabian Sting

University of Cologne

Merieke Stevens

Erasmus Univeristy Rotterdam School of Management

Murat Tarakci

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: October 25, 2017

Abstract

Research on buyer-supplier relationships has debated the advantages and disadvantages of embedded relationships. We join this debate by developing theory on the performance implications of relaxing embedded buyer-supplier relationships for a limited period of time — a previously neglected phenomenon we refer to as temporary de-embedding. To capture this phenomenon’s dynamic and complex nature, we use a combined-method approach. First, we conducted a longitudinal case study of the relationship between Nissan and a strategic first-tier supplier. This case study suggests that temporary de-embedding reinvigorates search and leads to higher performance for both the buyer and supplier. Second, we built a computational simulation model using the search perspective from complexity theory to complement the theory grounded in our case study. Our simulations confirm the case findings while shedding additional light on how frequency, duration, and intensity of de-embedding affect supply chain performance.

Keywords: Buyer-supplier relationships, embeddedness, complexity, combined methods

JEL Classification: L21, L62, L14, M10, M11, C63

Suggested Citation

Sting, Fabian and Stevens, Merieke and Tarakci, Murat, Temporary De-Embedding Buyer-Supplier Relationships: A Complexity Perspective (October 25, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3058630 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3058630

Fabian Sting (Contact Author)

University of Cologne ( email )

Albertus-Magnus-Platz
Cologne, 50923
Germany

Merieke Stevens

Erasmus Univeristy Rotterdam School of Management ( email )

0104088723 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/mstevens

Murat Tarakci

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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