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Intermediaries in power-laden retail supply chains : an opportunity to improve buyer-supplier relationships and collaboration

Hingley, Martin; Lindgreen, Adam; Grant, David B.


Martin Hingley

Adam Lindgreen

David B. Grant


Despite the benefits of buyers and seller collaboration and hence relationships extolled in extensive studies, issues of relationship power inhibit implementation of collaborative and relational approaches, particularly in some parts of the retail Sector. Further, most research regards them as dyadic or focal relationships, or perhaps in a network context, and typically investigates them from a power-dependency perspective and within vertical supply integration. Little attention has considered the potential role of supply chain intermediaries, such as logistics service providers, in objectively and independently determining and managing the course of buyer-supplier collaboration and relations in a business-to-business context. This article appraises this potential role and its relevant opportunities in the power-laden, contentious environment of the retail grocery sector. With an interdisciplinary approach, drawn from supply management, relationship management, and logistics and supply chain management, this article emphasises the importance of horizontal collaboration using fourth-party logistics structures, as horizontal intermediary conduits, who act independently between retailers and suppliers to facilitate collaborative and relational activity.


Hingley, M., Lindgreen, A., & Grant, D. B. (2015). Intermediaries in power-laden retail supply chains : an opportunity to improve buyer-supplier relationships and collaboration. Industrial marketing management, 50, 78-84.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 24, 2014
Online Publication Date May 29, 2015
Publication Date 2015-10
Deposit Date Jan 6, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Industrial marketing management
Print ISSN 0019-8501
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 50
Pages 78-84
Keywords Buyer-supplier relationships; Horizontal and vertical collaboration; Logistics service providers; Intermediary; Retail grocery sector
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Industrial marketing management, 2015, v.50.


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