Essays on strategic procurement in an increasingly competitive environment

Student thesis: Doc typesDoctor of Economics and Business Management


Through the last decades, procurement has become an increasingly important activity of the production process, despite being more complex than in the past because of the evolution of the environment. Indeed, factors like globalization, improved transportation methods and efficient information technologies have allowed firms to target any customer in the world, hence turning local markets into global ones, such that only the most competitive firms can subsist. However, those factors have also given firms an easy access to the most competitive suppliers of the planet, initiating a tendency for outsourcing creating global supply chains with countless linkages over which the firms have less control. Thus, supply chain risk has increased in parallel with supply chain efficiency. This risk is even exacerbated by three other elements: the manufacturing development of Asian countries lengthening lead times; the lean philosophy that lowered the redundancy and thus the ability of a supply chain to absorb unexpected events; and the higher uncertainty (notably due to more frequent natural disasters) making supply disruptions more likely. It follows that procurement is today not only more complex because of the environment described, but also more important since a greater part of a product is made outside of the firm.

This context challenged the procurement activity, which has become in response more strategic than ever. In this thesis, we first document the procurement strategies already studied in the literature. Then, we present three original contributions (one by chapter) describing situations in which strategically managing procurement enables firms to derive competitive advantages in the current environment. Specifically, Chapter 1 deals with the impact of supply chain practices related to the buyer-supplier relationship on supply chain resilience; Chapter 2 considers the interactions between contract length, supplier effort and supply base size; and Chapter 3 is interested in the cost of information disclosure underlying group purchasing agreements.
Date of Award4 Jun 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Namur
SupervisorAadhaar Chaturvedi (Supervisor), Jean-Yves Gnabo (President), Philippe Chevalier (Jury), Nishant Mishra (Jury), Per Agrell (Jury) & Robert N. Boute (Jury)

Attachment to an Research Institute in UNAMUR

  • DeFiPP

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