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ELE 3771 Purchasing

ELE 3771 Purchasing

Course code: 
ELE 3771
Accounting and Operations Management
Course coordinator: 
Erna Engebrethsen
Course name in Norwegian: 
Product category: 
Bachelor - Electives
2022 Spring
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

How can purchasing contribute to cost reduction, value creation, and risk management in an organisation? This question is at the core of this course, and we will seek to answer it by looking at purchasing from an operational, tactical and strategic perspective. In today’s society, cost pressures and increasing customer demands push firms and other organisations to specialise and outsource. Firms often use 2/3 of their turnover on purchasing goods and services, which means that they increasingly rely on external resources. Purchasing represents a key means to achieve cost reductions and value adding in an organisation by mobilising and activating resources both internally and externally (i.e. suppliers) in a more efficient and effective way.

Students participating in this course will learn to understand the role and function of purchasing in today’s society, both from a profit-seeking company’s point of view and from other organisations, including the public sector. They will learn about a purchaser’s key tasks and responsibilities, and strategies and tools for dealing with key issues, particularly with regard to handling suppliers.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completed course students shall:

  • Understand what purchasing is about in terms of roles, responsibilities, functions and processes in today's society.
  • Understand and appreciate the differences in the operational, tactical and strategic levels of purchasing, and how purchasing can be organised.
  • Gain knowledge of central purchasing models, in relation to segmentation, insourcing/outsourcing, sourcing, and negotiation models.
  • Understand the importance of managing supplier relationships.


Learning outcomes - Skills

After completed course students shall be able to:

  • Undertake purchasing tasks and responsibilities with regard to the purchasing process: specification, search, negotiation, relationship handling, and evaluation.
  • Apply key purchasing models, such as segmentation models and managing high and low involvement supplier relationships.
  • Communicate in the range of purchasing professional roles, e.g. in terms of terminology.
General Competence
  • To be able to be a reflexive purchasing professional, including making considerations to key trends and ethical and environmental issues.
Course content

Purchasing's role and function in today's business context

  • Trends, definitions and key tasks and responsibilities, including ethical and environmental considerations
  • Purchasing's role in business strategy and the value chain
  • Purchasing in different settings, including service and public sectors

Purchasing process

  • Specification and selection
  • Negotiation and contracting
  • Performance evaluation and KPIs

Purchasing strategy

  • Outsourcing and insourcing
  • Supply base management and segmentation
  • Sourcing strategies - international and global purchasing

Purchasing organisation

  • Purchasing organisation structures in different business settings
  • Decentralisation vs. centralisation of purchasing

Managing supplier relationships and partnerships

  • Developing resources with suppliers for innovation and productivity
Teaching and learning activities

Lecture, exercises and cases, guest lecturers, students are expected to contribute with active participation in discussions.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

For electives re-sit is normally offered at the next scheduled course. If an elective is discontinued or is not initiated in the semester it is offered, re-sit will be offered in the electives ordinary semester.


Higher Education Entrance Qualification


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.


Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge


Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
100Yes4 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:4 Hour(s)
Exam code: ELE37711
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
45 Hour(s)
Prepare for teaching
45 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
56 Hour(s)
Preparation of presentation and tasks.
Student's own work with learning resources
50 Hour(s)
4 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.