Original Research

The role of personal relationships in supply chain disruptions: Perspectives from buyers and suppliers of logistics services

Carla Rood, Deon van den Berg, Wesley Niemann, Arno Meyer
Acta Commercii | Vol 18, No 1 | a608 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v18i1.608 | © 2018 Carla Rood, Deon van den Berg, Wesley Niemann, Arno Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 February 2018 | Published: 26 September 2018

About the author(s)

Carla Rood, Department of Business Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Deon van den Berg, Department of Business Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Wesley Niemann, Department of Business Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Arno Meyer, Department of Business Management, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Firms can no longer rely on their own internal capabilities to operate in dynamic business environments but rather depend on buyer–supplier relationships to resolve and survive supply chain disruptions.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the underlying role of personal buyer–supplier relationships in a supply chain disruption context.

Motivation for the study: Previous research studies have focussed solely on the role of business relationships in a supply chain disruption context, while neglecting personal relationships.

Research design, approach and method: A generic qualitative research strategy was used for this purpose. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine buyers and nine suppliers of logistics services who were involved in personal relationships during supply chain disruptions.

Main findings: The findings of this study indicate the attributes that must be present for a personal relationship to form in a supply chain disruption context, along with the various advantages and disadvantages that are derived from personal relationships in times of supply chain disruption.

Practical/managerial implications: For managers, this study identifies various attributes, advantages and disadvantages of personal relationships in supply chain disruptions, therefore equipping managers to extract value from personal relationships in supply chain disruptions.

Contribution/value-add: Academically, this study expands the literature by being one of the first empirical studies to conduct research on the role of buyer–supplier personal relationships in the third-party logistics supply chain disruption context.


Keywords

personal relationships; supply chain disruptions; logistics services; qualitative research

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