Buyer-supplier relationships in advanced manufacturing technology acquisition and implementation : a study in Malaysia

  • Azmawani Abd Rahman

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis reports the results of research into the connections between transaction attributes and buyer-supplier relationships (BSR) in advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) acquisitions and implementation. It also examines the impact of the different patterns of BSR on performance. Specifically, it addresses the issues of how the three transaction attributes; namely level of complexity, level of asset specificity, and level of uncertainty, can affect the relationships between the technology buyer and suppler in AMT acquisition and implementation, and then to see the impact of different patterns of BSR on the two aspect of performance; namely technology and implementation performance. In understanding the pohenomena, the study mainly draws on and integrates the literature of transaction cost economics theory,buyer-supplier relationships and advanced manufacturing technology as a basis of theoretical framework and hypotheses were gathered through a questionnaire survey with 147 responses and seven semi-structured interviews of manufacturing firms in Malaysia. Quantitative data were analysed mainly using the AMOS (Analysis of Moment Structure) package for structural equation modeling and SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science) for analysis of variance (ANOVA). Data from interview sessions were used to develop a case study with the intention of providing a richer and deeper understanding on the subject under investigation and to offer triangulation in the research process. he results of the questionnaire survey indicate that the higher the level of technological specificity and uncertainty, the more firms are likely to engage in a closer relationship with technology suppliers.However, the complexity of the technology being implemented is associated with BSR only because it is associated with the level of uncertainty that has direct impact upon BSR.The analysis also provides strong support for the premise that developing strong BSR could lead to an improved performance. However, with high levels of transaction attribute, implementation performance suffers more when firms have weak relationships with technology suppliers than with moderate and low levels of transaction attributes. The implications of the study are offered for both the academic and practitioner audience. The thesis closes with reports on its limitations and suggestions for further research that would address some of these limitations.
Date of AwardNov 2006
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorDavid Bennett (Supervisor) & Naomi J Brookes (Supervisor)


  • advanced manufacturing technology
  • buyer-supplier relationships
  • technology implementation
  • transaction costs economics theory
  • Malaysia

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