Title: Personal relationships and supply chain communication: an exploratory case study of buyers and suppliers of logistics service provider

Authors: Atif Saleem Butt

Addresses: Department of Management, School of Business, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Abstract: Personal relationships have been the subject of much research in supply chains, with most studies suggesting that these relationships have a positive effect on supply chain communication. Nevertheless, it is important to realise that a lack of a personal relationship will adversely affect the communication process between the individuals of supply chain member firms. This research fills this important gap in supply chain communication literature. As there is limited research in this field and qualitative approaches are considered ideal for evaluating emerging research phenomena, a case study approach is employed. Overall, 20 semi-structured interviews with senior managers from ten different firms engaged in the process of buying and selling logistics services are undertaken. The results show that the absence of a personal relationship between buyers and suppliers of logistics service providers negatively affects the communication process between the managers of focal firms in five distinct ways. The study concludes by discussing its implications for theory and practice, alongside limitations and future research directions.

Keywords: behavioural supply-chain management; buyer-supplier relationships; personal relationships.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2022.125385

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2022 Vol.42 No.4, pp.501 - 514

Received: 17 Mar 2020
Accepted: 30 May 2020

Published online: 08 Sep 2022 *

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