Profiling purchasing skills by purchase type

Yi-Hsi Tu, Louise Knight

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper presents the results of an empirical study of purchasing skills and how they vary by type of purchase. Building on the purchasing portfolio approach, purchase type was defined using 10 internally oriented, product- related dimensions, and 8 externally oriented, supply-related dimensions. Based on these dimensions, experienced purchasing personnel described a specific purchase and profiled the skills required for effective performance in purchasing that item. Cluster analysis of the 72 valid responses provided three distinct groups of purchasing situations, which were labelled strategic, tactical and routine purchase types. Of the 33 skills identified from prior literature, 24 were found to differ significantly (p>0.05) across purchase type clusters. For each cluster, the purchase situation and skills profile are described. Results show that, as product and market complexity and risk increase, both more purchasing skills are needed, and their importance for successful performance increases. Further analysis through pairwise comparisons of the clusters reveals more detailed insights. Suggestions for refining this survey tool and for its potential application in companies are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
Event21st Annual IPSERA Conference 2012: Purchasing & Supply Management in a Changing World - Naples, Italy
Duration: 1 Apr 20124 Apr 2012
Conference number: 21


Conference21st Annual IPSERA Conference 2012
Internet address


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