Customer - Supplier Relationship and Knowledge Management: A Value Creation Process in SCM
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The emergence of global markets has opened international sourcing opportunities for firms to seek for the best customer value derived from suppliers scattered around the globe. These new opportunities raise the importance of supply chain functions in the firm; not only it provides the materials to be transformed into a final product, it additionally performs a strategic function in the firm as a continuous source of competitive advantage. Supply chain literature puts great emphasis in value creation but fails to acknowledge the role played by the network relationships under a systemic perspective. In this study we aim to analyze the vehicles for value creation within relationship and knowledge management. For this, we analyze the existing literature containing relevant strategic frameworks and external factors that, under a holistic view, affect the customer-supplier relationship behavior towards knowledge transference and, therefore, customer value creation. The study?s proposals are complemented with an empirical study of the supply network relationships of four companies in the automotive industry. The results show that in order to bring value, under a knowledge-based perspective, current practices in supply chain management can be complemented by the inclusion of the social factors in the relationship management, namely trust and power. In addition, it was found that the functional areas are currently excluded in several dimensions from the supply chain management activities; this results in inefficiencies in the customer value creation.