A study of cooperative and coercive JIT relationships between small suppliers and big buyers Academic Article uri icon


  • The proliferation of JIT purchasing practices in the US has led to a rich environment for academic research. Several studies have been conducted to measure the effects of such practices but most have concentrated on the benefits for the buyer company. Little is published about the impact of such practices on the suppliers and, especially, small suppliers. From our extensive interviews with managers and executives of six 'small' suppliers to American and Japanese automotive firms, we conclude that besides a few symbolic gestures and the use of buzzwords, there is no genuine attempt to establish mutually beneficial programmes between 'small' suppliers and 'big' American buyers. Relationships are classified as being parental or coercive, based on the nature and quality of the customer-supplier rapport or lack of it. We specify a model for successful big buyer-small supplier JIT interactions. In addition, we develop propositions for future research.

author list (cited authors)

  • Koufteros, X. A., & Kunnathur, A.

publication date

  • December 1996