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Abstract

While new ways of organizing exchange have become prominent in business-to-business markets, the function of corporate minority supplier purchasing programs in this changing organizational environment has received scant attention. Specifically, the extent to which the present structure of minority supplier purchasing programs enhances -- or deters -- the creation of strategic partnerships, impacts the way buyers and suppliers interact, and ultimately determines the efficacy of these exchange relationships has not been sufficiently addressed in the literature. The present study examines the relationship between the minority supplier categorization (versus those not classified as such) and the negotiation stances that purchasing agents undertake with these suppliers. Data were collected using a mail survey of university purchasing agents. The purchasing agents were asked to select a supplier which is a participant in his or her organization’s minority supplier purchasing program and answer questions about a recent negotiation with that supplier. For purposes of comparison, a random sample of purchasing agents was asked to respond with regard to negotiations with a supplier which was not a participant in any of the organization’s supplier purchasing programs. Cluster analysis was used to examine the negotiation stances used by the purchasing agents.

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