26 Pages

Management of Relations Between Suppliers and Buyers: The Case of Russia

WithJulia Popova, Olav Jull Sørensen

The aim of this article is to describe and understand the relations between Russian enterprises and their suppliers and buyers as they have developed during the transition years. The overall position of the customers and suppliers is analyzed using the stakeholder theory while the management of the relations is dealt with using three alternative approaches, the mainstream strategic planning approach, the network and the action-experience approach. The findings are based on an empirical study of 172 Russian enterprises. It is found that Russian enterprises do not use strategic planning to any large extent. Financial constraints, the lack of a coherent regulatory framework and imperfect markets make firm managers turn to networking building on experiences from the central planning era. It is also found that networks were instrumental in the fast development of barter trade. However, the networks are weak and unless redefined, are likely to disappear when the financial constraints are overcome. Barter transactions have declined since the financial crisis in August 1998 and following the devaluation of the ruble, producers have experienced new business opportunities, reflected in growing expectations regarding sales and supplies. Given the present 38context, managers are advised to further develop their networks to encompass additional activities, e.g., product and process development, additional domestic customers and suppliers and perhaps additional foreign partners to enhance their technological capabilities. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-342-9678. E-mail address: <[email protected]> Website: < > © 2001 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.]