Purchasing and supply management (PSM) competencies: Current and future requirements

Lydia Bals*, Heike Schulze, Stephen Kelly, Klaas Stek

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    33 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)


    Purchasing & Supply Management (PSM) competencies are the individual-level foundations of organisational PSM performance. In light of recent developments in the workplace and the external environment, the question of what PSM competencies are needed now, as well as in the future, becomes one of increasing importance. Analysing qualitative data from 46 interviews from 16 companies, this paper identifies what current and future competencies are required by PSM professionals, categorizes PSM competencies according to the framework established by Tassabehji and Moorhouse (2008) and establishes how these competency requirements have changed over the last ten years. The most important current competencies required by PSM professionals are negotiation, communication and relationship management (e.g. ‘Interpersonal communication’), strategy and analytics (e.g. ‘Strategic thinking’), as well as professional knowledge requirements (e.g. ‘Basic knowledge on PSM role & processes’). When looking at future requirements, competencies in the areas of sustainability and digitisation were identified as becoming increasingly important. Overall, 17 competencies in addition to those shown in Tassabehji and Moorhouse (2008) were identified. The most prominent new competency areas are related to digitisation (e.g. ‘eProcurement Technology’, ‘Automation’), innovation (e.g. ‘Innovative sourcing’) and sustainability. The interviewees also identified 11 new competencies within the interpersonal skills cluster, most of them at the intersection between competencies and traits (e.g. ‘Deal with Ambiguity’, ‘Curiosity’, ‘Passion’).
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number100572
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of purchasing and supply management
    Issue number5
    Early online date3 Sep 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


    • Purchasing and supply management
    • Procurement
    • Current and future competencies
    • Skills
    • Interviews


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