Title: Supplier development: current status of empirical research

Authors: Eric Sucky; Sebastian M. Durst

Addresses: Faculty of Social Sciences, Economics and Business Administration, Chair of Operations Management and Business Logistics, University of Bamberg, Feldkirchenstraße 21, 96052 Bamberg, Germany. ' Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, Competence Center Operations Strategy, Löffelstr. 46, 70597 Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract: Based on a detailed review of 40 survey-based publications, this paper outlines the status of research into supplier development and identifies gaps requiring further investigation. We show that past studies have analysed various aspects of supplier development using different methodologies and theoretical approaches but that there remain significant gaps in the literature. With regard to content, gaps include the link between targets set and results achieved, the economic viability of direct supplier development, the way in which costs and benefits are shared between customers and suppliers and the impact of framing conditions. With regard to the theoretical foundation of supplier development, the validation of theories other than the transaction cost theory should be considered. Whereas articles published up to 2000 tended to use simpler descriptive and inferential statistical methods, structural equation models have predominated in the recent past. Methodological shortcomings include the lack of dyadic surveys and long-term studies, geographic imbalances and the dominance of focused analyses of specific industries.

Keywords: supplier development; supplier management; procurement; survey based research; literature review; transaction cost theory; structural equation modelling; SEM; supply chain management; SCM; suppliers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2013.050612

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2013 Vol.6 No.1, pp.92 - 127

Published online: 30 Jan 2014 *

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