Supply Chain Bargaining Theory

P. Judson Kenney
Desautels Faculty of Management

June 21, 2013


The consensus among academic researchers is that supply chain management lacks grounding theory specific to its field and arguably enough to be recognized as an academic discipline. This paper uses game theoretic, asymmetric Nash bargaining to develop a new theory specific to operations and supply chain management. Supply chain bargaining theory connects supply chain management practices to a firm’s financial performance. The theory quantifies a relationship explaining that a firm increases profit by improving its competitive advantage among its competitors and bargaining power with its customers. The concept of competitive advantage links to existing literature that focuses on a firm’s internal capabilities and those provided by their upstream supply chain. Bargaining power provides a conceptual connection to a firm’s downstream customer management practices. The concepts and relationships of this new theory align with existing conceptual and empirical supply chain management and operations research. Supply chain bargaining theory clarifies the binding mechanism between dyad members of supply chains which can facilitate future research into supply networks.

Supply Chain Bargaining Theory

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