Recent literature on the topic of vendor selection has focused on a broad, macro view of the relationship between the selection and buying processes (see e.g., Dempsey, 1978; Holt, 1981). However, most of the studies have not examined such processes in the context of the small business enterprise nor have they discriminated between the importance of physical versus service attributes. A recent study by Manzer, Ireland, and Van Auken (1981) did employ the small business in a "matrix approach" to vendor selection. However, there appears to be a paucity of research involving the relative importance of physical versus service attributes by small businesses in their vendor selection.
Babb, Harold W. and D. Neil Ashworth. “The Relative Importance of Physical Versus Service Attributes with Respect to Small Business Vendor Selection.” E.C.R.S.B. 1982-6. Robins School of Business White Paper Series. University of Richmond, Richmond, Virginia.