Flexibility has been recognized as a critical source of competitive advantage for firms operating in uncertain markets. Although various studies have examined the antecedents and consequences of this desirable attribute, limited studies have addressed the interplay between supplier and customer flexibility. This is a significant limitation in the flexibility literature considering the abundance of evidence indicating that supplier flexibility (SF) impacts customer-related phenomena, and customer flexibility (CF) impacts supplier-related phenomena. Considering the research indicating that suppliers' benevolence toward customers enhances CF toward the suppliers, we argue that SF has a positive impact on CF. In other words, we posit that when suppliers show flexibility toward their customers, those customers will reciprocate by showing flexibility toward those suppliers. This logic is grounded in the tenets of reciprocity theory. Moreover, using the resource-based view theory, we link these concepts to firm competitive advantage (FCA). Our findings allow us to derive noteworthy theoretical and practical implications, which we detail in the manuscript.
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