Coopetition and framework contracts in industrial customer-supplier relationships

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Vous trouverez ici l’abstract d’un travail de recherche académique qui a donné lieu à la publication d’un article sur le concept de « coopetition verticale » et de « contrat cadre ».

Si vous souhaitez citer ou vous référer à cet article, merci d’en citer la source comme suit :

Lacoste, S. (2013) « Coopetition and framework contracts in industrial customer-supplier relationships », Qualitative Market Research : An International Journal, Vol. 17 Iss : 1 (on line).

Abstract :

Purpose – We investigate how business-to-business Key Accounts deal with the consequent tension between cooperation and competition, and how they can resolve that relational paradox, using framework contracts.

Design/methodology/approach – We argue that the role played by framework contracts can be bivalent : as a tool to define cooperation with suppliers while simultaneously organising competition within suppliers, but by formalising such bivalence it does help to ease the tensions that may arise. To clarify such a conceptual and counter-intuitive ambivalence, we use a case study that shows how framework contracts are used to solve the inherent tensions between cooperation with ‘preferred suppliers’ and their price competition with invited ‘challengers’, in a competitive bidding situation.

Findings – This study is a first step in an investigation of the role of framework contracts in a customer-supplier relationship, aiming to explain their use as they highlight the « coopetitive » nature of the relationship, turning it into something tangible and psychologically acceptable.

Research limitations/implications – Because of the complexity of vertical « coopetition » and the research method adopted, the findings may not be generally applicable.

Practical implications – This research offers an enlarged perspective for suppliers as well as customers to think over their own relationships (in an industrial setting).

Originality/value – Little research has been conducted to date on vertical coopetition and the role and effects of framework contracts in the context of such complex customer-supplier relationships. This case study offers insights for practising managers and academics into the effective use of framework contracts.

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