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Collaborating with suppliers

In this video, Dr Christos Tsinopoulos talks about the impact of sharing ideas and processes between suppliers and the effect on performance.

From the earlier exercise you might have found examples where a final product has been the result of several suppliers, customers, and sometimes even competitors working together.

This may lead us to ask:

How does it happen? Does it lead to performance improvement?

In this video, we’ll be looking at research on supply chain management which has been trying to address these questions for several years. One prominent piece of research, Frohlich and Westbrook (2001), makes the case for how integration leads to improved performance. We’ll discuss this and look at how collaboration can lead to greater trust, improve capabilities to forecast and plan ahead, help test out the feasibility of new ideas and explore new markets.

However, we are about to look at some of the risks associated with open innovation and we will be revisiting its impact on integration as well.

Further information

Liker, J. K. and Choi, T.Y. (2004) ‘Building deep supplier relationships’, Harvard Business Review, 82(12), pp. 104-113.

Tsinopoulos, C., Sousa, C.M.P. and Yan, J. (2018) ‘Process Innovation: Open Innovation and the Moderating Role of the Motivation to Achieve Legitimacy’, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 35(1), pp. 27-48.

For a good discussion of the impact of key customers and suppliers on performance, see:

Al-Zu’bi, Z.b.M.F. and Tsinopoulos, C. (2012) ‘Suppliers versus lead users: examining their relative impact on product variety’, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 29, pp. 667-680.


Frohlich, M. T. and Westbrook, R. (2001) ‘Arcs of integration: an international study of supply chain strategies’, Journal of Operations Management, 19(2), pp. 185-200.

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Harnessing Open Innovation in Business

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