GRA 6717 Purchasing: Managing Supply Relationships and Networks


GRA 6717 Purchasing: Managing Supply Relationships and Networks

Responsible for the course
Lena Bygballe

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Business Analytics

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. 60-80 per cent of total costs of goods sold are often uesd on purchased goods and services. 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 management 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 supply base and utilising network effects for efficiency and effectiveness.

    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 supply network models and frameworks, e.g. the ARA-model and the network approach to purchasing

    Acquired skills
    (i) To be able to explain and conduct the purchasing function: specification, search, negotiation, supplier relationship handling, and evaluation
    (ii) To be able to compare, critique and make use of 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, SCM, etc.
    (ii) To appreciate and understand multiple perspectives in purchasing
    (iii) To be able to be a reflexive purchasing professional


    All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

    Compulsory reading
    Gadde, Lars-Erik, Håkan Håkansson, Göran Persson. 2010. Supply network strategies. 2nd ed. Wiley
    Weele, Arjan J. van. 2014. Purchasing & supply chain management : analysis, strategy, planning and practice. 6th ed. Cengage 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

    The role of purchasing: definitions, trends and challenges
    Purchasing strategy
    The purchasing process
    Managing suppllier relationships and networks
    Organizing for purchasing

      Computer-based tools

      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

      The course grade will be based on the following activities and weights:
      (1) A 3 hour written exam (individual) accounting for 50% 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 10%.

      Form of assessment Weight Group size
      Written examination 3 hours 50% Individual
      Assignment 40% Group of max 3 students
      Class participation 10% Individual

      Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi.

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

      Examination support materials
      Bilingual dictionary
      Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

      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. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

      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.