We seek to delineate the processes by which work relationships between employees from buyer and supplier organisations can enhance the supplier's resilience. A micro-foundations perspective is taken to study the effect of individual-level relationships on these higher-level processes in the context of a declining organisation—a supplier that has been experiencing a period of size decline, following the transition of some of its stronger competitors to a more advanced generation of products. The findings of a qualitative study indicate that the work relationships built between employees from the supplier and the customers around current product and services offerings can help a declining organisation to cope with setbacks and difficulties. Expanding on the three C's of hardiness (challenge, control, and commitment), we discuss the implications of our research for the study of resilience through the lens of interorganisational work relationships and highlight the different pathways that build these coping and adaptation qualities for the organisation. Specifically, the challenge of transitioning to new products can negatively influence these work relationships unless the supplier organisation provides supportive context by allowing employees to retain the necessary control over what it takes to serve their customers. Furthermore, the supplier should display strong commitment to integrate the new offerings while customers need to mirror this commitment by developing a willingness to adopt these new offerings by the supplier. The findings further suggest that these new offerings can be translated into higher levels of adaptation.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 International Association of Applied Psychology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology