Title: The context-dependency of buyer-supplier power

Authors: Anni-Kaisa Kähkönen

Addresses: School of Business, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FIN-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Abstract: The aim of this study is to find out whether the power relationship between the buyer and supplier is dependent on the context and how multilevel analysis of power can be achieved. Previous studies on power have concentrated on the analysis at the dyadic relationship level, whereas this study raises the question of network effects and analyses the significance of the network context. The results indicate that the sources of power can be defined at the levels of organisation, relationship and network. The network context turned out to be significant in that the sources of power that emanate from network effects and are related to other network participants beyond the dyadic relationship may crucially determine the power relation between two actors. The study showed that the network-related power sources are highly crucial when defining power relations between buyers and suppliers. Thus, the context-dependency of power is evident.

Keywords: network effects; power sources; power relations; buyer-supplier relationship; food industry; network context; buyers; suppliers; context dependency; supply chain management; SCM.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2015.070739

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2015 Vol.8 No.4, pp.396 - 415

Received: 15 Feb 2014
Accepted: 07 May 2014

Published online: 23 Jul 2015 *

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