The Impact of Alternative Vendor/ Buyer Communication Structures on the Quality of Purchased Materials

Joseph R. Carter, Jeffrey G. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


This paper examines the critical interface between manufacturing, purchasing, and quality assurance by exploring the impact of two alternative structures of buyer and vendor communication on attempts to improve the quality of purchased items. Those two structures of communication are the parallel structure and the serial structure. The research analyzes and compares the advantages and disadvantages of these two specific communication structures; the results have implications for both researchers and managers. The analysis of data suggests that the parallel structure is associated with significantly higher levels of quality than the serial structure. From a managerial perspective, the results of the research suggest that manufacturers must consider the parallel communication structure as a viable alternative for improving the quality of purchased components. While this study has helped frame some key managerial issues, the need and opportunity for further research in related areas is delineated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-776
Number of pages18
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Production/Operations Management and Quality Control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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