Product co-development in an emerging market: the role of buyer-supplier compatibility and institutional environment

Jeff Jianfeng Wang, Julie Juan Li, Jeanine Chang

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103 Citations (Scopus)


In emerging markets, supply chains increasingly serve as critical value chains through which ideas, practices and knowledge flow to and from suppliers and buyers. Drawing on buyer-supplier collaboration literature and organizational learning theory, we examine the antecedents and underlying mechanisms of product co-development. Due to emerging markets’ unique institutional environments, we further investigate how government intervention and guanxi importance moderate supplier-buyer collaborative outcomes. Dyadic data from 323 supplier-buyer pairs in China largely support our theoretical framework. Partners’ knowledge commonality has a curvilinear (inverted U-shaped) relationship to product co-development, whereas goal compatibility has a positive impact on product co-development. Mutual learning partially mediates the main effect. Furthermore, government intervention weakens the positive effect of mutual learning on product co-development whereas guanxi importance strengthens this relationship. This research provides fresh theoretical and managerial implications to supply chain collaboration in emerging markets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-83
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Buyer-supplier compatibility
  • Emerging markets
  • Institutional environment
  • Mutual learning
  • Product co-development

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