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An investigation of imbalanced position of exporters in relationships with importers : case of small exporting textile suppliers in Turkey

Talay, Cagri


Cagri Talay


Dianne Dean


Exporter-importer relationships have been an interest of International (Industrial) Marketing Purchasing (IMP) group since 1980s (Hallen and Sandstrom, 1991). The recent researches have focused on imbalanced relationships between exporters and importers. Imbalances in exporter-importer relationships are considered to be mainly associated with, cross-cultural differences, size, customs, institutions, and organisational differences of each party. However, understanding of imbalances in exporter-importer relationships has been less researched from the side of exporters as opposed to importers. Furthermore, the experiences of small export companies have not been paid enough attention to understand the strategies of these companies when they deal with the problems in relationships with importers. Moreover, SMEs characterise the largest range of organisation types both in developed and developing economies. Despite the inadequate resources and knowledge possessed by small exporters, they are increasingly involved in international supply chain relations, which determine imbalances in relationships of small exporting suppliers with importers. To date the limited empirical investigation of such claims has produced lack of understanding.

This research addresses this gap in the literature and takes an exploratory perspective, using qualitative research design and multiple case study method. Twenty in-depth interviews were conducted with ten companies in international textile districts in Istanbul in Turkey. This provided a guidance to discover characteristics of relationships between exporters and importers and the influence of exporters’ capabilities on these relations. Conceptual framework and the following typology of international supply relations between exporters and importers have been obtained from related literature.

The findings from the study indicated that the key relationship characteristics of export involvement stage and capabilities determine the degree of balance in the relationship. However, there is a degree of dynamism in the relationship, for instance, if exporters are in an imbalanced relationship, they are able to develop strategies to move towards a more balanced relationship. The findings revealed that capability of seize and capability of transform help exporters to create balance in relationships with importers. Furthermore, different types of imbalances in exporter-importer relationships were identified that may suggest different strategies may be applied in different customer relationships.


Talay, C. (2013). An investigation of imbalanced position of exporters in relationships with importers : case of small exporting textile suppliers in Turkey. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 21, 2013
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2013


Thesis (2.4 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2013 Talay, Cagri. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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