The role of social mechanisms in promoting supplier flexibility

Po-Young Chu, Kuo Hsiung Chang, Hsu Feng Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study explores a conceptual framework for social mechanisms (trust and shared vision) to induce supplier flexibility (i.e., volume, mix, new product, and delivery flexibility). Design/methodology/approach: The current study is based on marketing research reviews of social mechanisms and supply chain flexibility literature. To explore these issues, the authors developed and tested hypotheses with data from 162 members of the SMIT (Supply Management Institute, Taiwan). Findings: The results show that trust has a direct impact on supplier's volume flexibility and delivery flexibility. Furthermore, the findings indicate that a shared vision has direct impact on supplier's mix, new product, and delivery flexibility. Finally, shared vision plays a mediating role among trust and mix, new product, and delivery flexibility. Research limitations/implications: This research considers buyer's perspective in examining social mechanisms that enhance supplier flexibility. A clear understanding of social mechanisms effects could evaluate competence trust and risk of respective flexibility that may affect social mechanism effectiveness. Practical implications: This article contributes to management guidelines on how to align suppliers to respond quickly to customer demands. Originality/value: The study provides novel insights into social mechanism impact on suppliers' respective flexibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-187
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Business-to-Business Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2011


  • Flexibility
  • Shared vision
  • Supply chain
  • Trust


Dive into the research topics of 'The role of social mechanisms in promoting supplier flexibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this