• When supplier development initiatives fail: Exploring the causes of opportunism and unexpected outcomes

      Tran, P.; Lemke, Fred; Gorton, M. (2019)
      Buyers often seek to enhance the capabilities of their suppliers through supplier development initiatives. However, these initiatives are not always successful and may have unintended consequences. This study investigates a ‘dark-side’ of supplier-buyer relationships, specifically the link between supplier development initiatives and supplier opportunism. Agri-food supply chains in Vietnam is the context for the study. We employ an explorative, qualitative methodology, analysing data from 30 interviews with fruit and vegetable buyers. The findings identify different supplier development initiatives and the specific forms of opportunism that may arise from each. Attention is paid to strategies to curb opportunism.
    • When supplier development initiatives fail: Identifying the causes of opportunism and unexpected outcomes

      Tran, P.; Gorton, M.; Lemke, Fred (Journal of Business Research, 2021)
      This study investigates a ‘dark-side’ of supplier-buyer relationships, specifically the links between supplier development initiatives, relational norms and supplier opportunism, utilizing thematic analysis and qualitative comparative analysis. While buyers often employ supplier development initiatives to improve procurement, they can be ineffective and stimulate opportunistic behaviour by suppliers. Drawing on the case of agri-food supply chains in Vietnam, the paper analyses the relationships between specific supplier development initiatives and forms of opportunism, considering the role of relational norms. While often regarded as reducing the likelihood of opportunism, this study identifies that relational norms may include norms of opportunism in supply chain relationships, which sanction a degree of opportunistic behaviour. The study contributes to supply chain management theory and practice by investigating how buyers can address opportunism, so that supplier development initiatives curb supplier opportunism rather than trigger it.