Scrutinizing the Manifestation of Relational Norms: A Study of Terminal Operating Company-Liner Shipping Agency Relations
Keywords:Flexibility, Information sharing, Liner shipping agency, Relational norms, Solidarity, Terminal operating company
Port relations with port users are essential for overall supply chain functioning, as the roles assigned to ports grow every day. While port supply chain transactions are generally conducted using contractual governance mechanisms, ports need to develop relational norms to keep their relations with port users at a high level, helping the ports realize their desired performance levels. This study aims to show the role of relational norms through the classification of domains they are manifested in. The goal of the classification is to unravel the specific domain of each norm in terminal operating company-liner shipping agency relations by exploring their occurrence and functioning. The data were gathered through interviews with professionals from terminal operating companies in Aliaga and liner shipping agencies that use at least one of these terminals. Study results show that the norms “flexibility” and “solidarity” are manifested as the financial and operational parts of the relation, while the norm “information sharing” is closely related to the effective use of information exchange platforms and the quality of exchanged information. The findings show how relational norms can add value to relationship performance in contract-based port supply chain relations.
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