Many authors (e.g. Handfleld and Nichols, 2002, Laseter, 1998, Hartley et al., 1997, Ross, 2003) argue that organisations working closely in collaboration with suppliers can reduce costs, improve quality and shorten lead-times. However, some authors (e.g. Huxham and Vangen, 2005, Kanter, 1994, Nooteboom, 2004) claim that it is difficult to achieve collaboration in inter-organisational relationships. Moreover, “only a small amount of research explicitly addresses the practice of collaborating” (Huxham and Vangen, 2005: 10). To address this issue, this study examined the subject of collaboration in inter- organisational relationships from several different theoretical backgrounds and disciplines.