A management tool for developing the relationships between large purchasing organisations and small ethnic minority suppliers

Nicholas Theodorakopoulos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to scrutinise the characteristics of the relationship between large purchasing organisations (LPOs) and ethnic minority suppliers (EMSs) engaging with supplier diversity programmes and provide an assessment and developmental framework for such organisations. Design/methodology/approach: Having considered an array of purchaser-supplier relationship frameworks in relevant streams of literature, the paper draws on Lamming et al.'s framework to advance a tool for assessing and developing the relationship between LPOs and EMSs. Findings: The submitted relationship assessment and development framework brings in sharp focus the characteristics of the relationship between LPO and EMS, providing a systematic way to examine the inter-organisational context within which EMS development takes place. Research limitations/implications: The framework submitted could signpost future research in this field, which should take a longitudinal, processual approach. This is necessary to provide opportunities to examine the dynamics underlying the development of potent LPO-EMS relationships in a variety of settings, including negative instances. Practical implications: The paper has implications for corporate policy making and practice in this arena. Assessing the potency of LPOs-EMSs relationships by applying the proffered tool can help both parties engage with supplier diversity, to develop fruitful relationships that enhance their competitiveness. Social implications: The latter can have social implications, as EMSs often operate in and employ people from disadvantaged communities. Originality/value: The framework advanced in this article constitutes a novel tool that highlights the areas in which LPOs and EMSs should channel their efforts, in order to develop a potent relationship between them, which underpins the development of EMSs' supply capabilities. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-126
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • buyers
  • channel relationships
  • ethnic minorities
  • inclusive procurement
  • purchaser development
  • purchaser-supplier relationship
  • supplier development
  • supplier diversity
  • suppliers


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