Original Research

Information technology as a facilitator of suppliers’ collaborative communication, network governance and relationship longevity in supply chains

Richard Chinomona
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 7, No 1 | a83 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v7i1.83 | © 2013 Richard Chinomona | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 December 2012 | Published: 21 August 2013


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Abstract

There is an increasing awareness about the paramount importance of information technology within business in the context of large businesses. However, research about the investigation of the role of information technology resources in fostering collaborative communication, network governance and relationship longevity in the small and medium enterprise sector has remained scant. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the influence of information technology on collaborative communication, network governance and relationship longevity in Zimbabwe’s SME sector. Five research hypotheses were posited and sample data from 162 small and medium enterprise suppliers were collected and used to empirically test the hypotheses. The results of this study showed that information technology resources positively influenced small and medium enterprise suppliers’ collaborative communication, network governance and consequential relationship longevity with their buyers in a significant way. Overall, the current study findings provided tentative support to the proposition that information technology resources, collaborative communication and network governance should be recognised as significant antecedents for improved relationship longevity between suppliers and their buyers in the SME setting. Therefore, managers in the small and medium enterprise sector and small and medium enterprise owners need to pay attention to both collaborative communication and network governance in order to optimise information technology resource impact on their relationship longevity with their business counterparts. Limitations and future research directions were also indicated.

Keywords

Information technology; Communication; Network structure; Long-term relationship; Supplier

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