How to stimulate supplier innovation? Insights from a multiple case study
Journal article, 2019

Drawing on the literature on supplier innovation, supplier development, and the relational view, we bring forward the concept of stimulation of supplier innovation, which refers to the buyer company's actions which aim to enhance its suppliers' innovativeness, guide its suppliers' innovation processes, and/or encourage its suppliers to share their innovations. Through four case studies about purchasing categories in three companies, we study how the stimulation focus is determined and what methods can be used for stimulating supplier innovation. We propose that stimulation comprises indirect and direct forms of knowledge-sharing and governance with an emphasis on indirect methods and suggest that the concept sheds light on the research gap on the push model of supplier innovation. We also elaborate the literature on supplier development and relational view in the context of supplier innovation.

Customer attractiveness

Supplier development

Supplier innovation

Case study

Relational view


Matti Pihlajamaa

Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)

Riikka Kaipia

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Aalto University

Anna Aminoff

Hanken School of Economics

Kari Tanskanen

Aalto University

Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management

1478-4092 (ISSN)

Vol. 25 3 100536

Subject Categories

Work Sciences

Business Administration

Information Systemes, Social aspects



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