Purchasing Strategy and Supply Chain Management

SOL13 Purchasing Strategy and Supply Chain Management

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    Purchasing is a critical function for most companies. First, the purchasing function is critical because the purchasing costs account for a considerable share of the total costs for most companies (e.g., as high as 50%+ for industrial firms or as high as 80%+ for companies within retailing and trade). Second, the purchasing strategy is imperative to the effective implementation of the company´s overall business strategy in its output market, in the form of costs, quality, timely delivery, etc.

    Hence, purchasing decisions have to be done based on a thoroughly defined purchasing strategy embedded in the overall business strategy of the company, as well as based on an analysis of the supply market that the company operates in. In order to achieve purchasing strategy goals, the company must have an appropriate organization of its purchasing function as well as of its relations to its various suppliers. Finally, the company must systematically evaluate purchasing performance, both in terms of internal structure and processes, ability to meet legal and ethical standards, as well as the performance of its suppliers.


    -The role of purchasing in the supply chain

    -The purchasing process

    -Outsourcing issues: Make or buy?

    -Purchasing strategy and business strategy

    -Supplier strategy and supplier management

    -Supply chain management

    -Dual sourcing and "plural" forms

    -Business networks

    -Organizing the purchasing function

    -Purchasing performance measurement

    -Supplier assessment

    -Purchasing in the public sector

  • Learning outcome

    The goal is to acquaint the students with opportunities, problems and analytical skills in the Purchasing strategy and supply chain management area. At the end of the course students will be expected to:

    1. Have an understanding of the area of purchasing strategy and supply chain management, and how this relates to company strategy and performance

    2. Recognize the challenges and dilemmas related to purchasing strategy and supply chain management

    3. Be able to present relevant theories and analytical tools related to the domain of purchasing and supply chain management and be able to apply them to a practical situation

    Knowledge - The candidate...

    • has broad knowledge of important topics, theories, issues, processes, tools and methods within Purchasing strategy and supply chain management
    • is familiar with research and development work in Purchasing strategy and supply chain management
    • can update his/her knowledge in Purchasing strategy and supply chain management
    • has knowledge of the history, traditions, distinctive character and place in society of the academic field

    Skills - The candidate...

    • can apply academic knowledge and relevant results of research and development work to practical and theoretical problems and make well-founded choices
    • can reflect upon his/her own academic practice and adjust it under supervision
    • can find, evaluate and refer to information and scholarly subject matter and present it in a manner that sheds light on the problem
    • masters relevant scholarly tools, techniques and forms of communication

    Competence - The candidate...

    • has insight into relevant academic and professional ethical issues
    • can plan and carry out varied assignments and projects over time, alone or as part of a group, and in accordance with ethical requirements and principles
    • can communicate important academic subject matters such as theories, problems and solutions, both in writing and orally, as well as through other relevant forms of communication
    • can exchange opinions and experiences with others with a background in the field, thereby contributing to the development of good practice is familiar with new thinking and innovation processes

  • Teaching

    The course work will consist of lectures, case discussions, a term paper and a final exam. Students will be organized into groups that are responsible for submission and presentation of written assignment.

    All teaching activities will be offered online.

  • Recommended prerequisites


  • Required prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    SOL13 is the equivalent to VOA036 and students will not get credit for both courses.

  • Requirements for course approval

    Submission and presentation of written case assignment.

  • Assessment

    Four hour individual written home exam. The exam is to be written in English or a Scandinavian language (Norwegian/Swedish/Danish).

  • Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Literature

    Arjan J. Van Weele, Purchasing & Supply Chain Management. 2018, 7th ed., London: Cengage.

    Selected articles.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2021.

Course responsible

Professor Aksel I. Rokkan, Department of Strategy and Management