How to stimulate supplier innovation? Insights from a multiple case study

Matti Pihlajamaa*, Riikka Kaipia, Anna Aminoff, Kari Tanskanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on the literature on supplier innovation, supplier development, and the relational view, we bring forward the concept of stimulation of supplier innovation, which refers to the buyer company's actions which aim to enhance its suppliers' innovativeness, guide its suppliers' innovation processes, and/or encourage its suppliers to share their innovations. Through four case studies about purchasing categories in three companies, we study how the stimulation focus is determined and what methods can be used for stimulating supplier innovation. We propose that stimulation comprises indirect and direct forms of knowledge-sharing and governance with an emphasis on indirect methods and suggest that the concept sheds light on the research gap on the push model of supplier innovation. We also elaborate the literature on supplier development and relational view in the context of supplier innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100536
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Case study
  • Customer attractiveness
  • Relational view
  • Supplier development
  • Supplier innovation


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