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When challenges hinder: An investigation of buyer-imposed stressors on supplier flexibility

Yu, Chong; Ang, Dionysius; Najafi-Tavani, Zhaleh; Zantidou, Eleni


Chong Yu

Dionysius Ang

Zhaleh Najafi-Tavani


Working with buyers may drive business growth but can also induce supplier stress. Drawing on Job Demands–Resources (JD-R) theory, this study explored how buyer-imposed work stressors affect supplier flexibility. Employing a scenario-based experiment involving 338 managers, we found that the imposition of challenge stressors increases supplier flexibility when hindrance stressors are low. Conversely, when hindrance stressors are high, imposing challenge stressors reduces supplier flexibility. We also found that supplier bricolage negatively moderates the relationship between buyer-imposed challenge stressors and supplier flexibility. Specifically, we confirmed that suppliers with higher bricolage are less willing to provide flexibility in response to challenge stressors. For practitioners, our study not only identified the type of work stressors they should impose on suppliers to boost flexibility but also highlighted bricolage as an important moderating factor.


Yu, C., Ang, D., Najafi-Tavani, Z., & Zantidou, E. (2023). When challenges hinder: An investigation of buyer-imposed stressors on supplier flexibility. Industrial marketing management, 113, 88-99.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 1, 2023
Online Publication Date Jun 10, 2023
Publication Date 2023-08
Deposit Date Jun 15, 2023
Publicly Available Date Jun 16, 2023
Journal Industrial Marketing Management
Print ISSN 0019-8501
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 113
Pages 88-99
Keywords Job demands-resources theory; Challenge stressors; Hindrance stressors; Supplier flexibility; Bricolage
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