Power in supply chain relationships : a comparative study between the Greek and the UK electricity sectors

Rentizelas, Athanasios (2002) Power in supply chain relationships : a comparative study between the Greek and the UK electricity sectors. Masters thesis, UMIST.

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This dissertation is concerned with the issue of power that exists between the two parties – the buyer and the seller – in any exchange relationship. Despite the fact that supply chain relationships have been analysed and researched very frequently by supply chain management and purchasing academics, little has been written on their power perspective. In this research, the Greek and the UK electricity industries are utilised as an empirical basis for the investigation of the unit of analysis, due to their inherent dynamics and the changes they have undergone the last years. With the use of a case study research strategy, it aspires to provide an insight to the power perspective of the supply chain relationships of the two cases, in order to fulfil its ultimate aim, which is to perform a comparison between the two electricity sectors in matters of power. The case formulation and the analysis are based primarily on data acquired through a series of interviews conducted in both Greek and UK electricity companies. The research undertaken includes a detailed review of the current literature on the unit of analysis, which indicates the lack of research in this field and justifies the necessity for conducting this work. The in-depth analysis of the supply chain relationships reveals the existence of vast differences in the relationship strategies and the attributes of power between the two countries. The cause of these differences is traced mainly to the different market conditions; nevertheless, these conditions are expected to converge in the near future. All the factors affecting positively or negatively the power position of electricity companies in Greece and UK are examined in great detail. Some of the major factors identified include state regulation and intervention, and asset specificity. This dissertation concludes with presenting recommendations for the Greek electricity industry, which are based on the experience of the UK situation.