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Paper info: Power Regimes: A Strategic Perspective on the Management of Business-to-Business Relationships in Supply Networks

Title


Power Regimes: A Strategic Perspective on the Management of Business-to-Business Relationships in Supply Networks

Authors


Andrew Cox, Chris Lonsdale, Glyn Watson and Joe Sanderson

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 17th IMP-conference in Oslo, Norway in 2001.

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Abstract


This paper addresses two main research questions. The first is whether or not firmsshould attempt to manage the multiplicity of relationships in which they are directlyand indirectly involved in their supply chains and networks. The second question,which assumes a positive answer to the first, is how and to what end should firmsmanage these multiple buyer-supplier relationships? Answers to these questions areproposed on the basis of a novel analytical framework for mapping and explaining thepower dynamics of buyer-supplier relationships. The key original contribution madeby this framework is that it looks beyond individual exchange dyads to considerinteractions within an extended network of business relationships, which is referred toas a power regime. The utility of the power regimes framework is tested with casematerial from the aerospace industry. This case provides substantial evidence tosupport the proposition that power regimes are often composed of a number ofinterlocking, but discrete, management sub-regimes. The paper concludes that firmsseeking to manage relationships with their customers and suppliers need to understandwhere the boundaries between these sub-regimes lie, because the possibility ofmanaging a relationship that crosses a boundary is limited, at least in the short-term.This does not preclude the possibility, of course, that a sub-regime boundary might bemoved over time by a firm's efforts to reconfigure the power structure of particularexchange dyads.