Journal article

The effect of supplier development initiatives on purchasing performance: a structural model

Sanchez-Rodriguez C, Hemsworth D, Martinez-Lorente A ...see all


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Purpose - Supply chain management is an increasingly important
organizational concern, and proper management of supplier relationships
constitutes one essential element of supply chain success. However,
there is little empirical research that has tested the effect of
supplier development on performance. The main objective is to analyze
the effect of supplier development practices with different levels of
implementation complexity on the firm's purchasing performance.
Design/methodology/approach - Three supplier development constructs were
defined: basic supplier development, moderate supplier development, and
advanced supplier development. Three structural models were hypothesized
and tested using structural equation modeling through field research on
a sample of 306 manufacturing companies in Spain.
Findings - Identified important interrelationships among the various
supplier development practices, basic, moderate, and advanced. Also
indicated that the implementation of supplier development practices
significantly contributes to the prediction of purchasing performance.
Research limitations/implications - The use of a single key informant
could be seen as a potential limitation of the study. The study was a
crosssectional and descriptive sample of the manufacturing industry at a
given point in time. A more stringent test of the relationships between
the different levels of supplier development and performance requires a
longitudinal study, or field experiment.
Practical implications - This study focused on supplier development
practices and revealed how involving suppliers in supplier development
activities is important and may help buyers to increase their purchasing
performance. The findings from the structural analysis should provide
practicing managers with insights on how these practices and their
benefits are related in terms of purchasing performance, thus affecting
their ability to make better sourcing decisions.
Originality/value - Fills an important gap in the purchasing literature
with respect to the area of supplier development. While there is much
written about supplier development based on conceptual and case study
research, this study is unique in that it is the first attempt to
empirically model the relationships between different levels of supplier
development and their impact on purchasing performance using a
comprehensive set of practices.

Author-supplied keywords

  • suppliers; purchasing; modelling; Spain

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  • C Sanchez-Rodriguez

  • D Hemsworth

  • A R Martinez-Lorente

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