Understanding the Impact of Digitalization on Buyer Supplier Relationship: A Qualitative Approach


  • Partha Pathak1 (SP Jain School of Global Management, Dubai-Mumbai-Singapore-Sydney)

This study analyses the impact of digitalization on the Buyer Supplier relationship (BSR) in the context of Industry 4.0. An empirical qualitative research methodology was employed, with semi-structured interviews conducted with 23 procurement specialists from service sector organizations in India to obtain empirical data. A qualitative content analysis was then conducted to arrive at common patterns and ideas. The study found that procurement specialists perceive that digitalization has an overall positive impact on buyer supplier relationship. However, it is important to exercise diligence during the implementation of any digital tools to restrict dissatisfaction, and human touch is essential in certain areas like negotiation and conflict management. Additionally, data analysis can provide strategic advantages, but the quality of input data must be considered. The study highlights the positive and negative impacts of digitalization on BSR and provides implications for research and corporate practice. It is recommended that future studies should qualify the results by analyzing the BSR in relation to supplier type, as well as by considering other digital technologies such as Machine learning and Artificial intelligence.

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