Relational capabilities in Thai buyer-supplier relationships

Rapeeporn Rungsithong, Klaus E. Meyer, Anthony S. Roath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (SciVal)


Purpose: This paper uses the relational capabilities perspective to provide new insights into the mediating role of relational capabilities and their performance implications. Specially, this paper aims to explain how characteristics of a partnership influence relational capabilities that in turn enhance firm performance. Design/methodology/approach: Using data from an original survey of 156 partnership projects between buyers and suppliers in the Thai manufacturing sector, the authors use a structural model to test their hypotheses. Findings: The empirical analysis shows that the impact of relational and economic attributes of a partnership on firm performance is mediated by knowledge sharing routines and complementary capability. However, the impact varies between operational and strategic performance, as relational capabilities are strongly associated with operational performance but only indirectly associated with strategic performance. Practical implications: The need to coordinate and mobilize complementary resources not only increases the interdependence between buyers and suppliers but also contributes to firm performance. Specifically, operations can be enhanced by knowledge sharing routines and complementary capability. At a strategic level, operational effectiveness enables firms to benefit from inter-organizational relationships. Originality/value: The authors contribute to industrial marketing knowledge by shedding light on mediation of relational capabilities between inter-organizational attributes and firm performance. The findings demonstrate the value of the relationship between a firm’s supply chain and its relational capabilities which in turn drive project performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1228-1244
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2017


  • Emerging economies
  • Inter-organizational trust
  • Relational capabilities
  • Relationship-specific assets
  • Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'Relational capabilities in Thai buyer-supplier relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this