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Paper info: Exploring perceptions of interdependencies in supplier-customer relationships


Exploring perceptions of interdependencies in supplier-customer relationships


Kristin B. Munksgaard
University of Southern Denmark
Kristin B. Munksgaard

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 25th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2009.


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The purpose of this paper is to study how the cooperation setting of relationships - here delineated as the characteristics of the actors involved, the relationship atmosphere of their joint interaction and their perceptions of the immediate network of third parties - influence actors' perceptions of interdependencies. Further the paper explores how actors' perceptions of interdependencies influence their strategic re-actions and decision in specific relationships. Through discussions of a company's relationships with two different customers, the paper argues that even in cases where different customers draw on similar resources and activities of the same supplier, perceptions of interdependencies may vary. The empirical data are derived from an exploratory observation study of joint product development meetings and interviews with involved managers conducted in the Danish food industry. By investigating the implicated actors' view and perceptions of interdependencies the aim is to contribute to discussions of how companies in different co-operation settings, will form different perceptions of interdependencies leading to variations in strategising choices of when to follow and when to lead.