Partnerships between organisations are thought to be critical to improve quality and serve customers, but understanding and developing effective partnerships have proved challenging. Commitment to quality by selling firms and customer firms is a first step but it is proposed that they must be willing and able to manage their conflicts constructively in order to develop their relationship. Findings from Chinese State Owned Enterprises supported the overall model that commitment induces cooperative conflict management rather than competitive or avoidance and that cooperative conflict results in relationships satisfying to both selling and customer firms. The results were interpreted as challenging the traditional view that avoiding conflict is useful in East Asia and that managing conflict cooperatively is a foundation for partnership effectiveness in China.
- supply chain partnership; cooperative conflict; competitive conflict; avoidance