Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Organizational buying is a complex decision-making process involving extensive interactions between buying and selling organizations. The two organizations may have different goals, capabilities, perceptions, and values, from which conflict can arise in their relationship during buying transactions.;Drawing from the behavioral theory of the firm and the organizational buying behavior and conflict literatures, this study examines how five approaches to conflict management (collaboration, accommodation, sharing, competition, and avoidance) used by buying organizations during purchase transactions can be explained by (1) the buying organization's perceptions of buying task characteristics, and (2) the buyer-seller perceptual differences of buying task characteristics.;Data were gathered from a cross-sectional survey of 2064 Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC) members working in for-profit organizations in Ontario, and 296 managers in selling organizations identified by the purchasing respondents.;Two causal models of buyer-seller conflict management were developed conceptually. These models were specified and their parameters estimated using the Partial Least Squares (PLS) approach to structural equation modeling developed by Herman Wold.;The results show that (1) the buying organization's perceptions and buyer-seller perceptual differences of buying task characteristics can explain an average of 5.6% and 15.0%, respectively, of the variances in the use of the five conflict management approaches by buying organizations; (2) some of the important predictors of the buying organization's use of conflict management approaches are purchase importance, relative size of expenditure, and time pressure; (3) the buying organization's use of the conflict management approaches of collaboration, sharing, and avoidance tends to enhance its satisfaction with the purchase and with the supplier relationship, while its use of accommodation and competition tends to lead to less satisfaction; and (4) in general, buyer-seller perceptual differences of buying task characteristics tend to lead to less use of collaboration, sharing, and avoidance by the buying organization.;This knowledge of the functionality/dysfunctionality of the five conflict management approaches as well as their important predictors can provide insights for developing industrial marketing strategies and for improving the purchasing management process.



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