Types of Asymmetries in Exporter-Importer Relationships and Alignment Behaviour

  •  Cagri Talay    
  •  Volkan Alptekin    


The purpose of this paper is to explore the phenomenon of asymmetry in international supply chain relationships and investigate how small exporter firms manage these asymmetric relationships. Prior studies have conceptualized asymmetry as a relationship attribute and concentrated on causal effects of asymmetry in supplier-buyer relationships by highlighting the extensive amount of reasons why asymmetry occurs in dyadic relationships. However, those extensive reasons intent to articulate why asymmetry occurs in relationships, have not provided enough in-depth to understand the complexity of asymmetry in international supply chain relationships, therefore, this study aims to explore the concept of asymmetry by focusing on structure and exercise rather than simply discovering reasons. This research explores the four distinguishable types of relational asymmetry between exporters and importers suggest different implications for international supply chain relationships. As opposed to the existing literature, which has considered and largely agreed that asymmetry is related to a negative connotation, this research suggests that different types of asymmetries also have a positive relational outcome for small export firms. This exploratory paper provides managers with additional insight into the types of asymmetry in international supply chain relationships and suggests that asymmetric relationships must be examined carefully in order to overcome difficulties that distract long-term relationships.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-719X
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7203
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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