ORIENTATION : Firms can no longer rely on their own internal capabilities to operate in dynamic
business environments but rather depend on buyer–supplier relationships to resolve and
survive supply chain disruptions.
RESEARCH PURPOSE : The purpose of this study was to explore the underlying role of personal
buyer–supplier relationships in a supply chain disruption context.
MOTIVATION FOR THE STUDY : Previous research studies have focussed solely on the role of
business relationships in a supply chain disruption context, while neglecting personal
RESEARCH DESIGN, APPROACH AND METHOD : A generic qualitative research strategy was used for
this purpose. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine buyers and nine
suppliers of logistics services who were involved in personal relationships during supply
MAIN FINDINGS : The findings of this study indicate the attributes that must be present for a
personal relationship to form in a supply chain disruption context, along with the various
advantages and disadvantages that are derived from personal relationships in times of supply
PRACTICAL/MANAGERIAL IMPLICATIONS : For managers, this study identifies various attributes,
advantages and disadvantages of personal relationships in supply chain disruptions, therefore
equipping managers to extract value from personal relationships in supply chain disruptions.
CONTRIBUTION/VALLUE-ADD : Academically, this study expands the literature by being one of the
first empirical studies to conduct research on the role of buyer–supplier personal relationships
in the third-party logistics supply chain disruption context.
C.R. and D.V.D.B. conducted the research as part of their
honours degree. W.N. and A.M. acted as the supervisors of
the research and prepared the manuscript.