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Exploring growth in vertical inter-firm relationships: small-medium firms supplying multiple food retailers

Growth-oriented small and medium-sized enterprises can develop mutually beneficial relationships with much larger customer firms.

Year of Publication2001

This paper presents insights into the growth of small and medium-sized fresh-produce enterprises engaged in vertical inter-firm relationships which have high rates of growth while supplying the UK’s large retailers. The context in which these suppliers operate is a supply chain characterised by increasing structural concentration and close vertical linkages. Six factors appear to be associated with the formation of “successful” relationships and securing developmental supplier status appears to open a self-reinforcing cycle of learning and reinvestment. Thus growth-oriented SMEs can develop mutually beneficial relationships with larger “customer” firms.

Citation

Blundel, R K; Hingley, M (2001) "Exploring growth in vertical inter-firm relationships: small-medium firms supplying multiple food retailers"Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development 8 (3) pp 245-265

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Additional keywords/tags

multiple food retailerspenrosian learning and reinvestmentsmall and medium sized enterprises
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Supporting the development of the national rural economy.

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