Enhancing Buyer-Supplier Collaboration through Daily Conversations at Shopfloor Level

Thibaut Bardon, Nicolas Arnaud, Florence Villeseche

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    Interorganizational communication enhances buyer-supplier collaboration and may provide both partners competitive advantage. Existing studies document the antecedents as well as the benefits of efficient communication between buyers and suppliers. However, current studies fail to investigate a key aspect of this interorganizational communication: the conversations that take place between shop-floor employees of partnering firms. Studying such daily conversations in situ affords insights on the foundations of efficient buyer-supplier communication beyond managerial level strategy making. We rely on the strategy as practice perspective that emphasizes the strategic role of conversations at all hierarchical levels as a key means by which strategy develops on a daily basis. This paper provides evidence of how daily conversations between shop-floor employees can enhance buyer-supplier collaboration. It is based on a case study of the largest and leading European furniture transport firm and its clients. We find that daily conversations enhance buyer-supplier collaboration by allowing operators i) to develop and reinforce mutual commitment ii) to build a common knowledge base, and iii) to create common routines and processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages39
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015: Opening Governance - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 7 Aug 201511 Aug 2015
    Conference number: 75


    ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2015
    Internet address


    • Buyer-supplier collaboration
    • Conversations
    • Interorganizational communication

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