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Continental differences in purchasing strategies and tools

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  • Karjalainen, Katri
  • Salmi, Asta

Abstract

This article focuses on the similarities and differences between the continental purchasing strategies and tools of companies in Western Europe and North America. The main question examined here is the strategic priorities and tools that European and North American buyers use (at the category level) for direct purchases and how they differ. The analysis is based on an empirical study of 224 companies from 10 countries. The results suggest that Europeans emphasise a reduction in prices and total cost of ownership as strategic objectives, while North Americans place greater emphasis on compliance with social and ethical guidelines. Both groups place surprisingly little emphasis on environmental objectives. In terms of tools, North American buyers have higher utilisation of electronic tools in purchasing and in communicating with suppliers, while European buyers appear to more extensively use purchasing tools associated with rating and auditing suppliers. Overall, it appears that a majority of purchases take place in home countries and close-by regions. Accordingly, we argue that practices adopted there offer interesting insights for international purchasing of the companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Karjalainen, Katri & Salmi, Asta, 2013. "Continental differences in purchasing strategies and tools," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 112-125.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iburev:v:22:y:2013:i:1:p:112-125
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2012.02.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Hesping, Frank Henrik & Schiele, Holger, 2016. "Matching tactical sourcing levers with the Kraljič matrix: Empirical evidence on purchasing portfolios," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 101-117.
    2. Luzzini, Davide & Brandon-Jones, Emma & Brandon-Jones, Alistair & Spina, Gianluca, 2015. "From sustainability commitment to performance: The role of intra- and inter-firm collaborative capabilities in the upstream supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 165(C), pages 51-63.

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