This paper extends the discussion on stability and change through focus on specific relationship characteristics. Quality management systems prescribe established routines for supplier selection and monitoring, and may thereby designate the nature and longevity of customer–supplier relationships. The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss the effects of quality management systems on stability and change in different forms of customer–supplier relationships.Design/methodology/approachA number of illustrative examples based on participatory data and interviews help to capture different types of customer–supplier relationships (private/public; certified/non-certified) related to quality management systems.FindingsWhile certified customers in most sectors only need to prove that their suppliers have procedures in place, many customers equate this with requiring that their suppliers should be certified. The paper further shows that customers replace deeper understandings for their suppliers’ procedures with the requirement that they be certified.Originality/valueThe paper contributes to the existing literature through integrating quality management systems literature with the business network approach. For business network studies, the discussion on quality management systems as constricting regimes is interesting and provides practical insights to the business network studies as such quality management systems increase in importance and spread.
IMP Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 22, 2018
Keywords: Certification; Business relationships; ISO; Quality management systems; Stability and change