Organising purchasing and (strategic) sourcing: towards a typological theory

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The role of purchasing has changed over the past two to three
decades. The focus is no longer limited to purchasing manufacturing inputs, but
also includes sourcing of innovations from, and even co-developing
technologies together with, suppliers. Furthermore, purchasing has obtained a
much more mature role in corporate strategy. These changes have serious
implications for the purchasing process, its characteristics and organisation.
Previous research indicates that none of the prevailing solutions, functional
departments and cross-functional teams, embedded in a centralised,
decentralised or hybrid overall structure, deliver the expected results.
Contingency theory predicts that the success of a firm depends on the fit among
characteristics of, amongst others, the firm’s processes and organisational
structure. The objective of this paper is to propose and illustrate a processbased
typological theory of purchasing and (strategic) sourcing organisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning
Issue number3-4
Pages (from-to)254-272
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • purchasing
  • (strategic) sourcing
  • process
  • organisation
  • typological theory

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