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The role of social media in managing supplier attractiveness: An investigation of business-to-business markets

Toth, Zsofia; Liu, M; Luo, M; Braziotis, Christos

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Authors

Zsofia Toth

M Liu

M Luo



Abstract

Purpose-Managing attractiveness is a constant challenge to mobilize relationship-specific investments, especially in a business environment increasingly enhanced by social media activities. There is limited knowledge on how social media activities contribute to supplier attractiveness, so decisions about strategizing with social media and consequent resource allocations become highly uncertain. The purpose of this study is to examine how suppliers' social media activities influence supplier attractiveness. Design/methodology/approach-Altogether, 57 senior managers were interviewed: 32 semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with senior managers in strategic decision-making roles regarding social media on the supplier side, along with 20 senior managers responsible for purchasing or looking after supplier development; one-to-one interviews were complemented by a focus group with 5 senior managers on the buyer side. Findings-The study reveals a U-shaped relationship between the intensity of the supplier's social media activity and its attractiveness and offers a set of propositions about the influence of social media on supplier attractiveness, with special regard to the perceived risks of increased transparency and becoming 'too social' on social media. Practical implications-The study highlights social media management results for supplier attractiveness and their impact areas on business growth and supply chain development. Originality/value-This paper provides in-depth insights into the role of social media in managing supplier attractiveness. Various effects of social media activities are identified that aim to contribute to the body of literature on supplier attractiveness as well as social media management in buyer-supplier relationships.

Citation

Toth, Z., Liu, M., Luo, M., & Braziotis, C. (2019). The role of social media in managing supplier attractiveness: An investigation of business-to-business markets. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 40(5), 625-646. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-04-2019-0321

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Dec 13, 2019
Publication Date Dec 13, 2019
Deposit Date Nov 20, 2019
Publicly Available Date Dec 13, 2019
Journal International Journal of Operations & Production Management
Print ISSN 0144-3577
Electronic ISSN 1758-6593
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 40
Issue 5
Pages 625-646
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-04-2019-0321
Keywords social media; supplier attractiveness; supplier selection; buyer-supplier relationships
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/3343173
Publisher URL https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/IJOPM-04-2019-0321/full/html
Contract Date Nov 20, 2019

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