Purchasing Strategy and Supply Chain Management

SOL13 Purchasing Strategy and Supply Chain Management

Autumn 2024

  • 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, sustainablity 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
    • Potential use of AI in purchasing
    • Purchasing in the public sector
    • Ethics, sustainability and supply chain management

  • Learning outcome

    Upon course completion, the candidate:


    • has an understanding of the area of purchasing strategy and supply chain management, and how this relates to company strategy and performance
    • 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


    • can recognize the challenges and dilemmas related to purchasing strategy and supply chain management, including issues related to ethics and sustainability (e.g. environmental standards)
    • 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

    General competence

    • is 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

  • Teaching

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

  • Recommended prerequisites


  • Required prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap

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

  • Compulsory Activity

    Submission and presentation of written case assignment.

  • Assessment

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

    An assessment will not be organised in the the non-teaching semester (spring).

  • Grading Scale

    A - F

  • Literature

    Arjan J van Weele and Frank Rozemeijer (2022), Procurement and Supply Chain Management (8th edition). Cengage Learning.

    Selected articles.

  • Permitted Support Material

    One bilingual dictionary (Category I)

    All in accordance with Supplementary provisions to the Regulations for Full-time Study Programmes at the Norwegian School of Economics Ch.4 Permitted support material https://www.nhh.no/en/for-students/regulations/ and https://www.nhh.no/en/for-students/examinations/examination-support-materials/


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Autumn. Offered Autumn 2024.

Course responsible

Professor Aksel I. Rokkan, Department of Strategy and Management