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Adaptation Processes in Supplier-Customer Relationships

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Much business to business marketing and purchasing takes place within relatively long lasting supplier-customer relationships. Prior research has demonstrated that partner-specific adaptations are a characteristic of such relationships. Both customers and suppliers implement specific changes (adaptations) to their business practices to accommodate the needs of a single business partner. This paper addresses the processes by which such adaptations are brought about. Those processes take place in interactions between the parties (inter-firm adaptation processes) and through internal change within each organisation (intra-firm adaptation processes). Using a qualitative fieldwork approach employing depth interviews in two industry sectors, a comprehensive model of the adaptation process is developed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2002

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