The dark side of buyer power: supplier exploitation and the role of ethical climates

Schleper, Martin C, Blome, Constantin and Wuttke, David A (2015) The dark side of buyer power: supplier exploitation and the role of ethical climates. Journal of Business Ethics. ISSN 0167-4544

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Abstract

Media increasingly accuse firms of exploiting suppliers, and these allegations often result in lurid headlines that threaten the reputations and therefore business successes of these firms. Neither has the phenomenon of supplier exploitation been investigated from a rigorous, ethical standpoint, nor have answers been provided regarding why some firms pursue exploitative approaches. By systemically contrasting economic liberalism and just prices as two divergent perspectives on supplier exploitation, we introduce a distinction of common business practice and unethical supplier exploitation. Since supplier exploitation is based on power, we elucidate several levels of power as antecedents and investigate the role of ethical climate as a moderator. This study extends Victor and Cullen’s (1988) ethical climate matrix according to a supply chain dimension and is summarized in an integrated, conceptual model of five propositions for future theory testing. Results provide a frame of reference for executives and scholars, who can now delineate unethical exploitation and understand important antecedents of the phenomenon better.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Joy Blake
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2015 12:51
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2015 12:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/54475
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