Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level



Supply Chain Management


John A. Aloysius

Committee Member

Terry L. Esper

Second Committee Member

Adriana R. Hofer

Third Committee Member

Li Hao


Buyer-supplier Relationships, Identity


In today’s scale-driven and technology-intensive global economy, collaboration becomes the supply chain’s core capability (Liker and Choi, 2004). A well-developed ability to create and sustain fruitful collaborations gives companies a significant competitive advantage (Kanter, 1994). Retailers are increasingly relying on their suppliers to reduce costs, improve quality, and develop new processes and products faster than their rivals’ vendors can. On the other hand, suppliers benefit from retailers that they are able to monitor store-level demand in real time in order to ensure the top-selling items are in-stock or the accuracy and timeliness of retailer’s demand forecast. Previous literature has shown various ways to promote collaboration in buyer-supplier relationships, but it may also have negative impacts such as deception (Gneezy, 2005), dishonesty (Mazar et al., 2008), or opportunism (John, 1984). This dissertation aims to investigate the impact of two types of identity (induced group identity and natural identity) on discretionary collaborative behaviors without any monetary incentives and supply chain performance in buyer-supplier relationships.

Using social identity theory (Tajfel and Turner, 1979), Essay 1 explores the influence of buyer-supplier identification which is defined as perceived oneness of a supplier/buyer with its partner’s organization and experience of its partner’s successes and failures as its own (Ashforth and Mael, 1989) on collaboration and supply chain performance, and the foundation and formation of buyer-supplier identification. To explore the effect of natural identity, particularly, gender identity, Essay 2 addresses the impact of gender composition in buyer-supplier relationships on collaboration, and supply chain performance. It investigates whether females and males exhibit differences in trust and trustworthiness. Controlled laboratory experiments are executed for Essays 1 and 2.

Together the two essays bring the concept of identity to supply chain management literature and advance our understanding of the enablers and drivers that can increase buyer-supplier collaboration and supply chain performance.