This paper examines the perspectives of a group of minority-owned suppliers' regarding their relationship with a large industrial manufacturing firm in the mid-west region of the United States. The manufacturing firm has a well-established minority-owned supplier development program. The research problems for this study focused on assessing the effectiveness of the company's minority supplier development program, in terms of the outcomes of the program for minority suppliers, and examining potential barriers to success. These problems were examined through a survey questionnaire, which was mailed to service and manufacturing minority-owned suppliers to the manufacturing firm. For this paper, the supplier respondents were split into groups on the basis of three criteria: 1) suppliers' size in terms of sales, 2) percentage of the suppliers' sales to the customer firm, and 3) length of the supplier's business relationship with the customer firm. We then examine the nature of the relationships between the large customer firm and its minority suppliers to determine whether supplier size, sales percentage or relationship-length significantly affect the perceived quality of the relationship.
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