With respect to the Northumbrian Water suppliers, Bensaou’s portfolio of buyers supplier relationship model is adopted to segment or categories suppliers. After segregation into different types of suppliers, Northumbrian Water choses to engage with its top 50 suppliers which indicate most of them to fall into the strategic partnership segment of the Bensaou’s portfolio. This indicates high trustworthiness, early supplier involvement and that these suppliers and buyers customize, specialize, differentiate, adapt, learn and innovate its supply processes according to the changes and requirements through exchange of information and expertise. In a strategic partnership the buyer and supplier tend to engage in a close long term relationships with constant exchange of information between the partnership to understand and work towards future goals in a more strategic and sustainable manner. Long-term relationship partnerships don’t start existing over night, (Zhand, 1972) suggests that trust is the ‘‘conscious regulation of ones dependence on the other that will vary with the task, the situation, and the other person…’’. This trust can be seen a concept of behavior that delivers suitable information, enables a mutual influence between the buyer and seller, promotes self-control and avoids the taking of undue advantage of the vulnerabilities of the others. According to (Spekman et al., 1997b; Yoshino and Rangan, 1995), trust is developed through personal relationships built over time with regular interactions. It is also important to remember that once the trust is dishonoured it often becomes very difficult to gain it back. This denotes that trust plays and important factor in maintaining a long-term business relationship while engagin...
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