University of Twente Student Theses


Presence and origin of perceptual distance in buyer-supplier relationships

Buuren, N. ten (2020) Presence and origin of perceptual distance in buyer-supplier relationships.

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Abstract:This research aims to explain where perceptual distance is present in buyer-supplier relationships and how these differences in perceptions are created. A list of essential relationship issues in buyer-supplier relationships was created with the help of a literature review investigating where perceptual distance is present. Additionally, in this study, both theories and concepts from the literature explain the origination of perceptual distance – a case study, single firm/multi-case, includes ten of the firm's buyer-supplier relationships with strategic suppliers. This research design will best fit the exploratory nature of the concept of ‘’perceptual distance’’ which has limited previous research available in the literature — conducting both quantitative and qualitative research, from both buying and supplying side, in the form of an online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. With the online questionnaire results, an overview of both the buying and supplying perception of relationship issues could be created, which enabled the detection of perceptual distance. These perceptual distances were further investigated through the semi-structured interviews, which gave answers on the causes of these perceptual distances. The results of this study showed that perceptual distance could be present in all of the listed relationship issues from the conceptual model, with the relationship issues of information exchange, decision making autonomy, and mutual satisfaction having the highest amount of perceptual distance. The results of this research supported the positive influence of the presence of acting in self-interest, asymmetric information, lack of actor’s knowledge, and limited computational capacity has in creating perceptual distance in a buyer-supplier relationship. Insufficient prove collected to indicate that social identification was creating perceptual distance in the researched buyer-supplier relationships.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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