MAGAZINE №3 (62) June 2014


CATEGORY  Reviews and Analytics Corporate logistics industrial companies Providers of logistics services  Logistics integration and coordination  Supply Chain Management 


The purpose of this paper is to present a partnership development process model that supports managers of western manufacturing firms in forging economically sustainable partnerships with Chinese logistics service providers (LSPs). Based on a review of seminal literature pertaining to the field of supply chain partnerships, a preliminary partnership development model is formulated. This model is subsequently evaluated and adapted based on interviews with executives from four  leading German manufacturing firms. The identified process model supports launching two distinct types of relationships: (1) strategic alliances and (2) arm’s-length relationships. For the establishment of either relationship a first phase (partnership formation phase) is necessary to make a decision on the type of relationship the manufacturing firm should pursue. Depending on this decision, two different operational lines (relationship design processes) are proposed within the process model. Managers of western manufacturing firms should be aware of the cultural gap they face to Chinese firms. The cultural importance of interpersonal trust as a foundation for successful business developments needs to be taken into account during initial negotiations as well as in the subsequent operationalization of a partnership. The applicability of this study’s findings is limited to western manufacturing firms in the Chinese market. Future research should attempt to broaden the scope of the presented partnership development model.


Published in Analytics and reviews


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