Inconsistent Norms in Buyer-Supplier Relations – A Study of Sustainability Introduction in the Textile and Apparel Industry

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This paper explores the set of norms governing the relational exchange between suppliers andbuying companies in the textile and apparel industry. Moreover, it explores the changes to thesenorms brought about by the introduction of sustainability requirements over the past 5-10 years.Norms play a significant role in determining the behavior characteristics in contractual andrelational exchanges. In this study, we interviewed 30 suppliers/manufacturers in the textile andapparel industry in India, Bangladesh and China, to shed light on how the introduction ofsustainability requirements from buyers has affected the applied exchange norms. We find thatsuppliers have experienced that the behavior of buying companies has become more transactional,since the textile and apparel industry started requiring sustainability. The norm set of buyingcompanies has changed and may be separated into two: A previous set of norms and asustainability-related set of norms. Suppliers find it difficult to engage with buyers that operate tosomewhat contradictory norm sets in the same exchanges.Key words: Norms, Relational exchange, Sustainability exchange, Qualitative Study
Translated title of the contributionNorm inkonsistens køber-leverandør relationer - et studie af introduktion af sustainability i tekstil og beklædningsbranchen
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 32nd annual Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) Conference 2016, Poznan, Poland
Number of pages16
Publication date2016
Article number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventIMP Conference: the 32nd annual IMP Conference 2016 - Poznan, Poland
Duration: 28 Aug 20171 Sep 2017
Conference number: 32


ConferenceIMP Conference


  • textiles

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