Term of Award

Spring 2013

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Ph.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Marketing and Logistics

Committee Chair

Karl Manrodt

Committee Member 1

Luther Denton

Committee Member 2

Jacqueline Eastman

Committee Member 3

David Shepherd

Abstract

Negotiations are important interactions in ongoing buyer-supplier relationships. Previous research has identified two commonly utilized types of negotiation strategies that are incorporated into buyer-supplier negotiation encounters. The collaborative strategy seeks to achieve an outcome that is mutually beneficial, while a competitive strategy is focused on individual outcomes. The purpose of this dissertation is to utilize a multi-method research approach to examine the relational impact of negotiation strategies choices. Study One utilized a scenario based experiment methodology. A priori hypotheses were developed based on Social Exchange Theory and its reciprocity tenet. The experimental results indicate that the use of a competitive negotiation strategy decreases levels of relationship specific assets, cooperation, trust, and process integration. Further analysis indicated that the use of a competitive negotiation strategy reduces levels of relationship specific assets and cooperation more in highly interdependent buyer-supplier relationships than in relationships with low levels of interdependence. Study Two used a grounded theory methodology to explore the impact of strategy choice in how buyers and suppliers perceive the relationship. Depth interviews were conducted with experienced buyers and suppliers. Coding and analysis of the interviews led to the development and presentation of a theoretical model. The findings suggest that the previous history of the buyer-supplier relationship impacts not only the choice of negotiation strategy but also the expectations of the strategy that the other negotiator will likely employ. The model suggests that the use of a competitive negotiation strategy has potentially harmful relational effects. However, the most damage to an ongoing relationship occurs when a buyer or supplier has traditionally utilized a collaborative strategy and violates the other partner's expectations by switching to a competitive strategy. Five specific relationships factors that were deemed to be important emerged from the data: relationship investment, trust, information communication, collaboration, and alignment. This research should offer insight for managers into the potential relational costs and benefits of utilizing different negotiation strategies. The contributions of the dissertation research are addressed. Future opportunities for research are also discussed.

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