Application of transactional analysis in supply chain networks: a potential holonic mediating tool

The aim of the research detailed in this paper is to model and ultimately to improve the relationships that occur between individuals transacting across organization boundaries in supply chain networks and/or virtual partnerships. Opportunistic behaviour and/or repetitive patterns of behavioural actions, resulting in gamesmanship, are explored to determine whether, under certain situations, the behaviours lead to win-lose situations and reduced trust. Transactional analysis (TA) is used to model games, which have been identified and observed in collaborating industrial partners. The experiments carried out to date have led to the formation of a preliminary relationship model which can be used, firstly, to identify correlations to the established library of TA games and hence, secondly, to investigate methods of mitigating the effect of some of the more negative form of games. It is proposed that this technique can be used as a mediating tool within holonic manufacturing systems or, at the ultimate, result in the establishment of relationship holons that could establish and maintain standardized co-operative patterns of behaviour between interacting partners, or holons, in the supply chain.