GRA 6717 Purchasing: Managing Supply Relationships and Networks


GRA 6717 Purchasing: Managing Supply Relationships and Networks

Responsible for the course
Lena Bygballe

Department of Strategy and Logistics

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction

Companies increasingly focus on their core competences and outsource activities based on other competences to suppliers. Figures of 60-80 per cent of total turnover being spent on purchased goods and services are not uncommon. As a result, purchasing and supply management have become paramount for companies’ competitiveness.

Students participating in this course will gain an understanding of the role of purchasing and supply in a company. Emphasis will be on purchasing as a boundary spanning function, and the students will learn to handle the challenges related to organising and operating a competitive supplier base and utilising network effects for efficiency and development.

    Learning outcome
    Acquired knowledge
    (i) To understand what purchasing involves in terms of roles, functions and processes
    (ii) To understand and appreciate the differences in the operational, tactical and strategic levels involved in purchasing, SCM and supply networks
    (iii) To gain knowledge of and the ability to critique central purchasing models, e.g. segmentation, insourcing/outsourcing, sourcing, and negotiation models
    (iv) To gain knowledge of contemporary models and frameworks, e.g. the ARA-model and the network approach to purchasing

    Acquired skills
    (i) To be able to explain the purchasing function: specification, search, negotiation, relationship handling
    (ii) To be able to compare and critique key purchasing models
    (iii) To be able to communicate in the range of purchasing professional roles, e.g. negotiation skills

    (i) To understand and appreciate the consequences of modern purchasing choices, e.g. global/local, green/environmental, community purchasing, etc.
    (ii) To appreciate and understand multiple perspectives in purchasing
    (iii) To be able to be a reflexive purchasing professional

    A bachelor degree qualifying for admission to the MSc Programme

    Compulsory reading
    Gadde, Lars-Erik, Håkan Håkansson, Göran Persson. 2010. Supply network strategies. 2nd ed. Wiley
    Weele, Arjan J. van. 2010. Purchasing & supply chain management : analysis, strategy, planning and practice. 5th ed. Learning

    Cases and additional articles will be handed out throughout the course

    During the course there may be hand-outs and other material on additional topics relevant for the course and the examination.

    Recommended reading

    Course outline
    Purchasing definitions
    The role of purchasing in an organization
    The purchasing process
    Sourcing management
    Purchasing strategy: Outsourcing and insourcing
    Purchasing strategy: Developing a supply strategy
    Sourcing strategues and partnership sourcing
    Purchasing and network analysis
    Implications of relationships for purchasing efficiency: Activity links
    Implications of relationships for resource development
    Managing in markets as networks
    Organizing for purchasing and interaction

    Computer-based tools
    It's learning

    Learning process and workload
    A course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of 160-180 hours. Students are expected to actively participate through discussions and presentations.

    Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class that is not included on the course homepage/It's learning or text book

    (1) A 3 hour written exam (individual) accounting for 40% of the final grade.
    (2) An essay over a chosen topic from the course (group work) accounting for 40% of the final grade.
    (3) Class participation 20%.

    Specific information regarding student evaluation beyond the information given in the course description will be provided in class. This information may be relevant for requirements for termpapers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several elements of the overall evaluation.

    This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam elements) and one final exam code. Each exam element will be graded using points on a scale (e.g. 0-100). The elements will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut off points with reference to the letter grades on the course site in It’s learning.

    Examination code(s)
    GRA 67171 accounts for 100% of the final grade in GRA 6717

    Examination support materials
    N/A. Exam aids at written examinations are explained under exam information in our web-based Student handbook. Please note use of calculator and dictionary.

    Re-sit examination
    It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught.
    The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code.
    Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes.
    Where this is not the case, all of the assessed components of the course must be retaken.
    All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee.

    Additional information
    Honor Code
    Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

    Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.