Perceptions of technology uncertainty and the consequences for performance in buyer-supplier relationships

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Abstract

In this paper, we investigate how buyers' and suppliers' distinct perceptions of technology uncertainty affect the relationship between communication frequency and supplier performance. Information processing theory suggests that a fit is desirable between perceived environmental uncertainty and the communication processes between organisations. However, if partners in a buyer-supplier relationship do not concur on the high level of technology uncertainty, it is highly questionable whether increased communication will be effective in increasing supplier performance. Using dyadic data from 86 buyer-supplier relationships, involving 388 respondents, we found that communication frequency was positively related to supplier performance only when both suppliers and buyers perceived high levels of technology uncertainty. When buyers perceived greater technology uncertainty than their suppliers, communication frequency was negatively related to supplier performance. The findings in this study show that it is important to take the distinct perceptions of buyers and suppliers of technology uncertainty into account when assessing the effects of communication frequency. It appears that increased communication is only effective when both parties acknowledge the need to communicate, and can be unfavourable when only one party sees the benefits of it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6155-6173
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume49
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • buyer-supplier relationships
  • technology uncertainty
  • perceptions
  • survey
  • regression
  • INTERORGANIZATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS
  • COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
  • COGNITIVE SIMILARITY
  • CHAIN MANAGEMENT
  • CONFLICT
  • OUTCOMES
  • BIAS

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