Supplier Alliances: Differences in Attitudes to Supplier and Quality Management of Adopters and Non-Adopters

V. R. Kannan
K. C. Tan


Faced with increasing pressure to improve responsiveness to rapidly changing market needs, firms must respond to the challenge of how to improve supply reliability and quality, while simultaneously reducing costs. This has led to an increase in outsourcing and the adoption of supplier alliances with key suppliers. While much has been written about when and how to form such alliances and the benefits of doing so, little evidence exists of how alliance adopters differ from non‐adopters in their attitudes towards managing suppliers and their efforts to manage quality in the supply process. This study presents results of a survey of supply management professionals that examines attitudes of adopters and non‐adopters of supplier alliances to supplier and quality management. Results indicate that significant differences in attitudes exist between alliance adopters and non‐adopters, and that differences have a direct and significant impact on key measures of a buying firm's business performance.