A multi-method investigation of buyer power and supplier motivation to share knowledge

Jie Chen, Xiande Zhao, Mike Lewis, Brian Squire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the importance of knowledge sharing between supply chain partners, supplier motivation to share remains largely unexplored. This study examines the role of buyer power in supplier motivation to share knowledge. Applying a multi-method, sequential research design, case studies followed by a scenario-based experiment, we find buyer expert power increases supplier motivation to share, while the use of coercive power decreases this motivation. We also find that supplier dependence has a contingent effect; when dependence is high, the effects of buyer expert power and use of coercive power on motivation are weakened. The study makes three key contributions. First, it begins to address the largely unanswered question of supplier motivation to share knowledge and, more specifically, how supplier dependence and buyer use of power impact this motivation. Second, by studying both the direct and interactive effects of power structure (dependence) and power use, the research enriches understanding of the power-influence process. Third, by adopting a research design that combines case studies and experiments, it provides a novel example of multi-method research in POM.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-431
Number of pages15
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2016


  • motivation
  • power
  • knowledge sharing
  • supply chain


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