Supplier-Buyer Relationship Management


Supplier-Buyer Relationship Management in Marketing and Management Research: An Area for Interdisciplinary Integration, Special issue of Journal of Business Research; Deadline 15 Oct 2015

Journal of Business Research
Special Issue Proposal: “Supplier-Buyer Relationship Management in Marketing and Management Research: An Area for Interdisciplinary Integration”

Guest Editors:

  • Prof. Chenting Su (City University of Hong Kong)
  • Prof. Haibin Yang (City University of Hong Kong)

Researchers in both marketing and management areas have approached the question of supplier-buyer management from different perspectives and methodologies. For example, marketing scholars have often referred to the two parties in the channel management as manufacturers and distributors (Anderson & Narus, 1990; Gu, Namwoon, Tse, & Wang, 2010; Yang, Su, & Fam, 2012), while management scholars have often examined the vertical relationship between suppliers and buyers (Mesquita, Anand, & Brush, 2008). Apart from the terminology difference, marketing researchers tend to focus more on the dyadic relationship management such as contractual and relational governance between manufacturers and distributors (e.g., Yang et al., 2012), while management researchers put more emphasis on the value creation and value appropriation process between suppliers and buyers as well as with related stakeholders (e.g., Chatain, 2011).

Although each stream of research has contributed significantly to our understanding of supplier-buyer management, they have largely run independently without much interaction. Accordingly, our knowledge in this area has been constrained by the disciplinary barriers between these two areas. For example, marketing researchers seldom pay attention to the management issues such as the tension between value creation and appropriation, while management researchers rarely touch upon the demand-side in supplier-buyer management (Priem, Li, & Carr, 2012).

Researchers can benefit tremendously by exchanging and integrating insights from these two different disciplines. For instance, one unifying perspective emerging in channel management investigates networks (Gu et al., 2010) or triadic relationships such as network governance (Wathne & Heide, 2004), triadic trust (distrust) (Vissa, 2012), etc. We believe these interdisciplinary findings would enlighten both areas and will be managerially important.

This call for paper will encourage submissions that cut across the two disciplines and have the potential to bring new perspectives, approaches, or findings that are difficult to achieve from either discipline. Researchers may explore the fundamental question of how marketing research may inform management studies in supplier-buyer management, or vice versa. Meanwhile we encourage new methods that move beyond the dominant practice of multiple regression analysis toward using algorithms in solving new problems in marketing and management such as fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis, which helps deal with complex relationships in supplier-buyer relationship management (Woodside, 2013).


Topics could include but are not limited to the following:

  • How different governance mechanisms are generated, managed, and complemented or substituted among related parties in supplier-buyer management
  • How triadic trust or network trust is generated, managed and transferred among related parties in supplier-buyer management
  • What are different value creation and appropriation mechanisms developed in supplier-buyer management
  • How firms strategically balance the value creation and appropriation with related parties in supplier-buyer management
  • How customers may play a role in the relationship between suppliers and buyers
  • The new challenges of supplier-buyer management in different institutional contexts
  • The new governance mechanisms of supplier-buyer management in virtual marketplace

Submissions and Deadline

All manuscripts should apply the general author guidelines


for the Journal of Business Research (JBR). Manuscripts should not have been previously published or be under consideration by other journals. Please submit your manuscript electronically via the JBR electronic submission system by October 15, 2015. Any inquiries can be sent to the two special issue co-editors:

Prof. Chenting Su,, City University of Hong Kong.
Prof. Haibin Yang,, City University of Hong Kong.

Biographies of the Guest Editors:

Dr. Chenting Su is Chair Professor of Marketing at the College of Business, the City University of Hong Kong. His research interests include institutional issues in marketing channels and Guanxi management in Chinese business circles. His research works have appeared in prestigious journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, MIS Quarterly, Strategic Management Journal, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and among others. He serves as the Guest Editor for Journal of Business Research and Industrial Marketing Management as well as the Associate Editor of Asian Journal of Business Research. He sits in the editorial boards of Journal of Business Research and Customer Needs & Solutions, among others.

Dr. Haibin Yang is Professor of Management/Marketing at the College of Business, the City University of Hong Kong. His research interests include strategic alliances, innovation, entrepreneurship, and transition economy. His research works have appeared in some top-tier management journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Management Science, Journal of Management, Research Policy, and among others. He serves as the editorial board member of Strategic Management Journal, Journal of World Business, and Long Range Planning.


Anderson, J. C., & Narus, J. A. 1990. A model of distributor firm and manufacturer firm working partnerships. Journal of Marketing, 54(1): 42-58.

Chatain, O. 2011. Value creation, competition, and performance in buyer-supplier relationships. Strategic Management Journal, 32(1): 76-102.

Gu, F. F., Namwoon, K., Tse, D. K., & Wang, D. T. 2010. Managing distributors’ changing motivations over the course of a joint sales program. Journal of Marketing, 74(5): 32-47.

Mesquita, L. F., Anand, J., & Brush, T. H. 2008. Comparing the resource-based and relational views: knowledge transfer and spillover in vertical alliances. Strategic Management Journal, 29(9): 913-941.

Priem, R. L., Li, S., & Carr, J. C. 2012. Insights and new directions from demand-side approaches to technology innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategic management research. Journal of Management, 38(1): 346-374.

Vissa, B. 2012. Agency in Action: Entrepreneurs’ Networking Style and Initiation of Economic Exchange. Organization Science, 23(2): 492-510.

Wathne, K. H., & Heide, J. B. 2004. Relationship governance in a supply chain network. Journal of Marketing, 68: 73-89.

Woodside, A. G. 2013. Moving beyond multiple regression analysis to algorithms: Calling for adoption of a paradigm shift from symmetric to asymmetric thinking in data analysis and crafting theory. Journal of Business Research, 66(4): 463-472.

Yang, Z., Su, C., & Fam, K. 2012. Dealing with institutional distances in international marketing channels: Governance strategies that engender legitimacy and efficiency. Journal of Marketing, 2012(76): 41-55.