The objective of this study is to analyse the exercise of control within vertical alliances marked by a strong asymmetry of dependence between the partners. Two case studies focus on the control that the buyers dependent on their partner suppliers can exercise on the latter. Our observatrions are put in perspective with proposals derived from transactional theory, social exchange theory, power -and dependence-based theory and resource- and competence-based theory. The study suggests the buyers that are highly dependent on their suppliers (here called vassal buyers) cannot impose strict contracts on nor influence their suppliers in a coercive manner. They prefer to use more informal control and seek to develop an "affective" influence on their suppliers. This influence is based on confidence and relational standards.
DONADA, C. and NOGATCHEWSKY, G. (2005). Dépendance asymétrique dans les alliances verticales : Comment un client vassal contrôle-t-il ses fournisseurs ? Management International, 10(1), pp. 63-74.