In this paper the interactive nature of the buyer–supplier relationship in the era of electronic commerce will be explored. Through broad range reviews of previous works on relevant topics, this paper proposes a conceptual model to demonstrate the rationale of the buyer–supplier interaction with information service provider's mediation in the electronic commerce environment. By taking information service provider as an intermediary, our model includes buyer, supplier and information service provider as three major parties. The rationale of interaction between buyer and supplier is rooted in individual party's objectives which usually fall into two categories: cost and quality. This model also takes the following three items into consideration: (1) information flow, (2) flow of goods or services, and (3) feedback information. Finally, our study provides the implications and suggests that the following factors can affect the way buyer and supplier interact: the managerial practices, the types of relationship, and the extent to which companies dominate the market.
International Journal of Information Management, 21(1), 49-68