The Problem of Opportunism in the Changing Conditions (A Case of the Relationships between Retailers and Suppliers in Contemporary Russia)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 9:02 AM
Room: 419
Oral Presentation
Maxim MARKIN , Department of Economic Sociology, National Research University, Moscow, Russia
The rules of market exchange do not only distribute the value added [Gereffi, 1994] but also reduce uncertainty and control opportunism in business partners relationships [Kelly, 1991]. In Russia in the 2000s retailer-supplier contracts included different requirements such as pricing and bonus requirements of retailers, unpaid services and penalties to retailers, compensation for retailers’ services. Those requirements made the behaviour of business partners predictable. But in 2009 the trade law was passed and the most of the requirements must be excluded from the retailer-supplier contracts. Nevertheless, the business partners still have to reduce uncertainty and to control opportunism in their relationships even in the new conditions. The objective of this research is to analyze how retailers and suppliers altered their rules of exchange after the political intervention. The empirical data are two quantitative surveys that were carried out in 2007 and 2010. About 500 managers were questioned in Moscow, Saint-Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Tyumen. The half of them are retailers and the others are suppliers. The findings demonstrate that after the enactment of the trade law the most of unallowed requirements were excluded from the retailer-supplier contracts but they are still used as separate contracts. This practice gives the business partners an opportunity to make each other’s behaviour predictable in the new conditions. Retailers and suppliers also continue to discuss the content of the political intervention and the consequences of its application.