Capability, Governance and Collaboration: Understanding the Supplier Perspective

  • Niraj Kumar

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This research investigates the relationship between supplier capabilities, inter-firm governance and buyer-supplier collaboration. The research focuses on threefunctional capabilities (Research and Development (R&D), Production and Supportservices capability), two governance mechanisms (Contractual and Relationalgovernance) and three types of buyer-supplier collaboration (Information sharing,Collaborative product/service development and Collaborative problem solving). Atheoretical framework is developed which first examines the multiple mediationeffect of contractual and relational governance on the relationship betweencapability and collaboration type, and second, explores the relative strength of the indirect effect through contractual and relational governance.Survey based research methodology is used to empirically test the hypotheses inthis research. Data are collected from a total of 120 SMEs in the UK aerospaceindustry. Bootstrapping based techniques are used to analyse the data and toexamine the proposed relationship between capability, governance andcollaboration. The empirical findings indicate that although both contractual andrelational governance are important in order to link the supplier capability withcollaboration, the individual effect of contractual and relational governance variesin different combinations of capabilities and collaboration types.The potential contribution of this research is twofold: first, in terms of academiccontribution, this study combines the arguments of Resource Based View andTransaction Cost Economics to provide a holistic view in explaining the interrelation between capability, governance and buyer-supplier collaboration; Second, in terms of practical contribution, this study improves the understanding of practitioners in both buying and supplying firm regarding the alignment of interfirm exchange processes with capabilities to achieve better performance incollaboration.
Date of Award12 Dec 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorMichael Lewis (Supervisor) & Michael Howard (Supervisor)


  • capability
  • Governance mechanism
  • buyer-supplier collaboration
  • resource based view
  • transaction cost economics

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