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Research Feature: The Dark Side of Close Buyer-Supplier Relationships

January 20, 2018


Is it possible to get too close to your suppliers?  And how do these critical buyer-supplier relationships affect the social and environmental performance of supply chains?


And how can we avoid the dark side of relaxed systems of checks and balances?

Why should we care about the supply chain?

The famous bank robber Willie Sutton was once asked, "Why do you rob banks?" He was reported to have said: "Because that is where the money is!"  


Why focus on supply chain?  Because that is where the money--and the environmental and social innovation opportunities--exist in abundance.  Consider the figure below from State of Green Business 2017.

 Image Credit:  State of Green Business, 2017


We'll never address the direct and supply chain impacts without more transformational buyer-supplier relationships.  How do we get there? 


Three Steps to Avoiding the Dark Side

Assistant Professor Veronica Villena has been trying to answer these and other pr