Perceptual data from the population of buyers and suppliers to a major electronics firm were collected to test the extent of judgmental convergence between matched pairs of buyers and suppliers with respect to the suppliers' quality management practices and the buyers' supplier development activities. The customer firm (and its supply base) was chosen due to its national leadership in quality improvement achievements and forward thinking in supply management. It was believed that this electronic systems manufacturer would be most likely to have reached a common understanding with its suppliers regarding continuous improvement needs. Results indicate that buyers and suppliers are largely in agreement regarding the extent of the suppliers' total quality management (TQM) implementation. Little agreement was noted regarding the buyers' execution of supplier development activities. Recommendations to supply managers regarding enhanced communication with their suppliers and recognition of their suppliers' role in quality improvement are offered.
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