Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies Researches Ethics Issues Overseas

FOR RELEASE: June 26, 1998

Contact: Zenobia Daruwalla
NAPM, Media Relations
Tempe, Arizona
602/752-6276 ext. 3015

(Tempe, Arizona) -- When it comes to purchasing offshore, should Purchasing and Supply Managers expect major differences among the ethical activities of suppliers in different countries? Not according to a new study that explores ethical issues in global buyer-supplier relationships. The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS) took part in the research and analysis of ethics issues overseas.

Because purchasing and supply managers can have significant influence over a firm's reputation, their behavior can, and does, affect how the firm is viewed by suppliers and other outside organizations. The Ethical Issues in Global Buyer-Supplier Relationships, written by Craig R. Carter, Ph.D., of The Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, defines ethics as it relates to issues in global buyer-supplier relationships. Seven research questions pertaining to ethical perceptions and effectiveness were posed and answered in the study. More than 132 surveys from buying firms, and 88 surveys from suppliers, were collected for the study. Respondents from the buying firms were asked to focus their responses on their relationship with a particular supplier, and forwarded the questionnaire to the chosen international supplier.

The study examines how ethical activities differ when purchasing from one country to the next. The objectives of the research were threefold:

  1. To determine what factors impact the level of unethical activities.

  2. To determine whether differences exist between the perceptions of buyers and their supplier counterparts in terms of unethical activities involved in global buyer-supplier relationships.

  3. To determine the level of impact unethical activities has on outcomes such as satisfaction with and effectiveness of the buyer-supplier relationship.

The Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies was established in 1986 to address the need for industry-oriented research in purchasing. CAPS is the result of an affiliation agreement between the College of Business at Arizona State University and the National Association of Purchasing Management.

A full text copy of Ethical Issues in Global Buyer-Supplier Relationships by Craig R. Carter, Ph.D., or any other CAPS report is available by faxing CAPS at 602/491-7885. CAPS is online at

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