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The pervasive human resource picture in interdependent supply relationships

By Marie Koulikoff-Souviron and Alan Harrison


This paper aims to explore the influence of human resource (HR) practices in shaping inter-organisational supply relationships, and to describe the extent to which supply partners seek to adapt their internal HR practices to the external relationship. Design/methodology/approach - Inter-organisational relationships are known to be multi-dimensional in nature. Using seven dimensions to collect empirical evidence, the focus was on a dyadic supply relationship as the unit of analysis. A total of 48 interviews was undertaken from informants in both organisations. Findings - It is shown that the supply relationship tends to be taken for granted at operational levels, and not subject to the relatively high levels of strategic alignment to be found at senior levels in both organizations. Operational aspects of the relationship are tested primarily in failure mode when poorly prepared to respond, for example, as a result of facility breakdowns and quality problems. Inter-organisational HR practices were relatively weakly prioritised and - despite their acknowledged importance at operator level - were not clearly identified and supported in the way that intra-organisational practices were. Originality/value - An in-depth, operations-based study of HR practices has been undertaken in a reciprocally interdependent supply relationship from the perspectives of both partners

Topics: Supply chain management, Adaptabilty, Human resource strategies
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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