Towards a framework for strategy in purchasing: German and English language literature

Frank Hesping, Holger Schiele

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


This article studies different levels of strategy in purchasing literature. Based on an extensive literature review of publications in German and English language, different levels in a strategy hierarchy have been discussed: (1) Firm strategy, (2) purchasing strategy as part of functional strategies, (3) commodity group strategies and (4) sourcing levers. Analysing and relating findings of the identified publications to the different levels of strategy indicates that research on strategy in purchasing is still in an early phase. As most of the few integrated frameworks of strategy in purchasing stem from consulting practice or have rather a practical focus, academic work seems to lack behind practical requirements. Although several levels of strategy are discussed in literature, only few publications were found to contribute to a clear and systematic linking between the different levels. The largest share of identified literature discusses only individual strategic aspects of purchasing and despite many interrelations of strategic concepts neither relates them to each other nor considers potential trade‐offs. Especially the concepts of commodity group, category management and sourcing levers are not well conceptualized and seem to be more in practical than in academic reflection. However, on the way towards theory-building, individual concepts should be integrated into a framework and empirically tested. The findings of this work can be interpreted as an invitation for academic research to accord more attention to strategy in purchasing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSupply Management Research: Aktuelle Forschungsergebnisse 2013
EditorsRonald Bogaschewsky, Michael Essig, Rainer Lasch, Wolfgang Stolzle
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
ISBN (Print)978-3-658-03060-5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2013
Event22nd Annual IPSERA Conference 2013: Purchasing & supply management for a sustainable world - Nantes, France
Duration: 24 Mar 201327 Mar 2013
Conference number: 22

Publication series

NameAdvanced Studies in Supply Management


Conference22nd Annual IPSERA Conference 2013


  • METIS-302796
  • IR-89576

Cite this