Boundary spanner relational behavior and inter-organizational control in supply chain relationships

Abstract : Boundary spanner relational skills are considered critical in the successful management of buyer-supplier relationships and may help avoiding high costs of more formal inter-organizational controls. Yet, the influence of partners' boundary spanners on effective supply chain collaboration has had much less inquiry than the influence of broader inter-organizational controls. We use survey data of 200 buyer-supplier relationships to examine how these individual and organizational control mechanisms influence the performance effects of interfirm collaborations that vary in scope of activities undertaken. Findings show that collaborative scope as well as boundary spanner relational skills and inter-organizational controls are positively associated with performance. The effect of collaborative scope on firm performance, however, also depends on both mechanisms but in opposite directions: while the influence of collaborative scope on performance is enhanced by inter-organizational controls, a partner's boundary spanner relational skills has a negative moderating effect, indicating that such skills contribute more to the effective management of collaborations of narrow scope than those of broader scope.
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Henri Dekker, Carole Donada, Caroline Mothe, Gwenaëlle Nogatchewsky. Boundary spanner relational behavior and inter-organizational control in supply chain relationships. Industrial Marketing Management, Elsevier, In press. ⟨halshs-01958433⟩

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