Research Papers

Abstract

Technologically advanced environments normally use electronic procurement systems, and this paper explores their role in customer-supplier relationships in a Norwegian high-tech industrial cluster. This paper focuses on “trustworthiness”, about which research has suggested some identifiable characteristics. Using how trustworthiness is signaled as a sensitizing lens, procurement practices and the utilization of ERP systems and other ICT artifacts are explored in a Norwegian high-tech industrial cluster. The findings show that in dealing with strategic suppliers, personal and informal ways of negotiating terms and requirements are dominant, while the procurement of less strategic parts and commodities is conducted via electronic procurement systems. The study finds trustworthiness-building characteristics in the ways in which buyers and strategic suppliers interact. At the same time, signals sent using e-procurement in the case of less critical procurements are generally more suited to building adversariality than trust.

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