Doctoral Dissertation

FM Tuija Korpela (Faculty of Humanities, Organizational Communication & Public Relations)

M.A. Tuija Korpela defends her doctoral dissertation in Organizational Communication & Public Relations ”Dyadic relations between the main contractor and its suppliers - A case study to clarify critical factors in Metso Paper Ltd”. Opponent Adjunct Professor Adjunct Professor KTT Tuula Mittilä (University of Turku) and custos Professor Marita Vos (University of Jyväskylä).

Tuija Korpela. Photographer: Kari Miettinen, Kari-Kuva KyM.A. Tuija Korpela defends her doctoral dissertation in Organizational Communication & Public Relations ”Dyadic relations between the main contractor and its suppliers - A case study to clarify critical factors in Metso Paper Ltd”. Opponent Adjunct Professor Adjunct Professor KTT Tuula Mittilä (University of Turku) and custos Professor Marita Vos (University of Jyväskylä). The event is in Finnish.

This doctoral thesis focuses on dyadic relations between the main contractor and its suppliers. Specifically, it studies critical factors, existing in communication from the perspective of supply chain actors, when operating in dyadic relationships. It integrates supply chain management and theories vital when concentrating on industrial networks and supply chain relationships with communication.

The doctoral thesis has its basis in qualitative research. With one main contractor and its supply chain partners in-depth interviews were conducted. Interviewees represented different organizational levels, the main emphasis being among actual supply chain actors, e.g. boundary spanning people, whose ways of operating reflects the level of the collaboration and partnership in every-day business. Additionally, two focus group discussions were organized, in order to update and prioritize factors found in in-depth interviews.

The data gathered in this study points out the importance of relationship characteristics, that is, factors that were found as critical when operating in dyads, more specifically, in partnership relationships in supply chains. Relationship characteristics were divided into two categories, first of them concerning the dyadic relationship and its contents and the second expressing factors in the environment, e.g. outside the actual dyadic relationship. The themes reflecting the relationship itself, information flow, power and dependence and trust, were considered as the most important having a key role in partnership relationships, whereas themes covering partner’s characteristics, partner’s location and operating in supply networks were found as secondary.

More importantly, when processing relationship characteristics further, it was possible to define factors that can support or prevent relationship development of dyadic relations. The enablers and barriers can be used as a basis when creating ways of assessing partnership relationships. Therefore, based on enablers and barriers of supply chain relationships, argument patterns were created that can be used as a starting point when assessing supply chain relationships. Argument patterns contribute an important element that can be integrated with other assessment tools. In other words, it helps the management level to discuss and assess themes of communication and to utilize relationship enablers and barriers in strategic management.  

Keywords: dyadic relations, supply chain communication, procurement

The dissertation is published in the series of Jyväskylä Studies in Humanities number 247, 275 p., Jyväskylä 2015, ISSN: 1459-4323, ISBN: 978-951-39-6116-9. It is available at the University Library’s Publications Unit, tel. +358 40 805 3825,

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Tuija Korpela