Unlocking Buyer Supplier Relationships in IT Sourcing Arrangements: An Investigation of Buyer Value With the Dyad Relationship as Sacrifice Dimension

Hans Christoffer Winther Olsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis is centered on the subject of value capturing in buyer-supplier relationships within Information technology and sourcing arrangements. The industry is victim to gaps between buyers and suppliers. The gaps are related to the context of interaction and miss-perceptions of buyer value. This is resulting in unsuccessful prospects of the buyer-supplier relationship. The assignment addresses a two-fold problem within the IT & ITeS industry. First problem is that buyer value is difficult to capture and understand for the buyer. Second problem is that the dyad is being influenced negatively, and positively, by the context of interaction, leading to constrained value capturing. The thesis uses a multiple case study strategy, collecting data from both suppliers and buyers in the IT & ITeS industry. The thesis uses qualitative methodology using interviews and card-sorting methods, which cross validates the findings with a triangular method mix. The thesis explorers the field of buyer-supplier relationships and conceptualizes two concepts; value drivers and contextual factors. The findings lead to five drivers of buyer value, and four contextual factors that influence the value drivers. The thesis concludes that buyer value in IT & ITeS sourcing arrangements can be characterized as either lean or agile. The lean value category is identified as simple episode exchange, whereas the agile value category is identified as complex episode exchange. The lean and agile value categories are negatively influenced by the buyer organizations inability to undergo changes. This is leading to little investment going into the dyadic relationship. The study concludes that the buyers need to invest in the contextual surroundings of the dyadic relationship with its IT vendors, to optimize value creation.

EducationsMSc in Supply Chain Management , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages91
SupervisorsAseem Kinra