Humlog Blogs

8.8.2016

Collaborative behavior between the actors in a supply chain has been a matter of research interest to scholars since the past two decades as soon as the concept of supply chain management found light. Organizations collaborate between each other in the chain due to several reasons. The simple reason could be route to market for a specific purpose – example RIO Olympics 2016 (down stream) or for instance at a strategic level– joint product development, or joint cost reduction. Such collaborative initiatives were found existent based on mutual benefits to the collaborators.

In one of the recent studies it was found that there are some reasons that are accountable for failure of collaboration – the desired outcome not being met over a period of time. This is due to the dependence asymmetry and power asymmetry. Such dependence and power does develop from the fabric of organizational culture that binds one organization together. On the superficial sight the seemingly compatible organizational culture with the partner organizational culture initially bound on emotional ties later start to lose strength to hold together. Some of the fundamental aspects of organizational culture as manifested through trusting relationship, dependence, commitment, information sharing and mutuality provide answer for the strength of the collaborative behavior.

Collaborative behavior does influence the performance of supply chain in a disaster or humanitarian situation. In the reconstruction phase of a disaster when actors come together to rebuild a place / provide relief to displaced people the need for new products and smart products (energy efficient) call for collaborative approach between the supplier and the humanitarian buying organization. While it can be understood that the need of the hour is the priority, organizations do have a robust R&D facility to quick build/rebuild products that best fit the needs of the buying organization (UN / Red Cross, etc.) providing enough space for trust, mutuality, commitment, information sharing and dependence to influence the collaborative relationship.

- Sabari