Transparency in buyer-supplier relationships: The what and when of sensitive information exchanges

Burkhart, Davide ; Bode, Christoph

Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2022
The title of a journal, publication series: Academy of Management Proceedings
Volume: 2022
Conference title: 82nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Location of the conference venue: Seattle, WA
Date of the conference: 05.-09.08.2022
Place of publication: Briarcliff Manor, NY
Publishing house: Academy of Management
ISSN: 0065-0668 , 2151-6561
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > Stiftungslehrstuhl für Procurement (Bode 2014-)
Subject: 650 Management
Abstract: Enhancing transparency in buyer-supplier relationships is not only necessary to address increased consumer and societal awareness but also to tackle supply chain disruptions and shortages. Yet, due to the risk of information leakage or opportunistic behavior, suppliers are reluctant to share certain (sensitive) information. We apply a sequential multi-method research design, including a qualitative study followed by a supplier survey and a scenario-based experiment to investigate how firms do and should collaborate with suppliers to increase transparency in the relationship. Building on the social exchange and resource theory, the qualitative study suggests that various information is perceived sensitive, antecedents of “transparent” and “opaque” suppliers, and tactics to induce the sharing of sensitive information. The later studies show that commitment and relationship length are significant antecedents of transparent suppliers. In line with resource theory, we also show that the counterparts of buyers prefer to be reciprocated with information, money, or status incentives when being asked for sensitive information. This study contributes to research in buyer-supplier exchanges and transparency by studying sensitive information sharing and providing valuable insights to practitioners on improving collaboration with their suppliers.

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