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This paper studies management control system design of supplier relationships in manufacturing, a supply chain phase currently under-explored. Compared to supplier relations during procurement and R&D, which research found to be governed by a combination of formal and informal controls, supplier relations in manufacturing are more formal, so that they could be governed by more formal and less informal controls. In order to refine management control theory, the authors propose a theoretical framework specifically adapted for the manufacturing phase. This framework is investigated by means of an in-depth case study of the supplier management control system of a Volvo Cars production facility. They identify three types of suppliers that visualize the associations in the framework and illustrate the framework's explicative power in automotive manufacturing.
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