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The effect of buyers’ socialization efforts on the culture of their key strategic supplier and its impact on supplier operational performance

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ying YangORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Taylor & Francis, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


Purpose- This paper investigates if inter-organizational socialization mechanisms initiated by a buyer organization towards a strategic supplier can influence the culture within that supplier organization to ultimately improve supplier performance to the buyer. Design/methodology/ approach- Using a quantitative sample of 279 UK companies from across a variety of industry sectors, statistical techniques were utilised to examine the effect of informal and formal socialisation mechanisms on the culture of a strategic supplier as measured by their organizational practices and the subsequent supplier performance outcomes. Findings- It was found that both informal and formal socialization efforts by a buyer organization have a significant influence on the culture of the supplier organization as measured by their organizational practices. Socialization efforts by the buyer organization influence the organizational practices of the supplier to be more result-oriented, employee- centred, open, pragmatic to customer needs and market focused. These organizational practices were found to positively influence supplier operational performance in the eyes of the buyer organisation as measured by on time delivery, conformance to product specifications, flexibility to respond to changing customer needs and cost reduction initiatives. Research implications Modelling the influence of informal and formal socialisation efforts by a buyer on the

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cadden T, Cao G, Yang Y, McKittrick A, McIvor R, Onofrei G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Production Planning & Control

Year: 2021

Volume: 32

Issue: 13

Pages: 1102-1118

Online publication date: 30/07/2020

Acceptance date: 23/05/2020

Date deposited: 28/10/2020

ISSN (print): 0953-7287

ISSN (electronic): 1366-5871

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/09537287.2020.1785574


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