Purpose: Suppliers are essential partners in innovation projects, as they own resources, knowledge assets and capabilities that complement those of buying firms. In today’s competitive environment, firms may choose to collaborate with suppliers beyond dyads, forming triadic or three-party relationships. Using the theoretical lens of the relational view (RV), this study aims to explore what type of triad configurations firms use to govern supplier relationships in collaborative innovation projects, how they choose to share resources and implications for project performance. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use interview data from buyers and suppliers in six case studies of firms involved in ten collaborative innovation projects. The four constructs of the RV are used to observe how firms govern triadic relationships, combine complementary resources, invest in relationship-specific assets and manage information and knowledge exchange with and between suppliers in innovation projects. Findings: Four archetypes of triadic relationships in innovation projects – labeled Triangle, A-frame, D-Frame and Line – are presented and characterized in terms of their structural and relational features. The authors discuss how each triad archetype is applicable to different innovation projects according to specific project characteristics. Originality/value: This study is pioneering in its empirical examination of triadic relationships in collaborative innovation projects. It provides a novel typology of four archetypes of triad from the perspective of collaborative relationships with suppliers. Through applying the RV, it advances understanding of how triadic relationships are governed, how they invest in relationship-specific assets, how they combine complementary resources and how they exchange knowledge and information in each type of triad appropriate to different innovation project settings. To date, much of the extant literature has focused on dyads.

Managing triadic supplier relationships in collaborative innovation projects: a relational view perspective

Harland C. M.;Luzzini D.;Frattini F.
2022

Abstract

Purpose: Suppliers are essential partners in innovation projects, as they own resources, knowledge assets and capabilities that complement those of buying firms. In today’s competitive environment, firms may choose to collaborate with suppliers beyond dyads, forming triadic or three-party relationships. Using the theoretical lens of the relational view (RV), this study aims to explore what type of triad configurations firms use to govern supplier relationships in collaborative innovation projects, how they choose to share resources and implications for project performance. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use interview data from buyers and suppliers in six case studies of firms involved in ten collaborative innovation projects. The four constructs of the RV are used to observe how firms govern triadic relationships, combine complementary resources, invest in relationship-specific assets and manage information and knowledge exchange with and between suppliers in innovation projects. Findings: Four archetypes of triadic relationships in innovation projects – labeled Triangle, A-frame, D-Frame and Line – are presented and characterized in terms of their structural and relational features. The authors discuss how each triad archetype is applicable to different innovation projects according to specific project characteristics. Originality/value: This study is pioneering in its empirical examination of triadic relationships in collaborative innovation projects. It provides a novel typology of four archetypes of triad from the perspective of collaborative relationships with suppliers. Through applying the RV, it advances understanding of how triadic relationships are governed, how they invest in relationship-specific assets, how they combine complementary resources and how they exchange knowledge and information in each type of triad appropriate to different innovation project settings. To date, much of the extant literature has focused on dyads.
Buyer–supplier relationships
Collaborative innovation
Relational view
Triad
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1209130
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