Decision support for contemporary purchasing

R.H.A. Stekelenborg, van, L. Boer, de

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


The new business environment has confronted purchasing with an increasingly dynamic and un-predictable environment. While purchasing fonnerly could afford to be reactive to changes in demand specifications, supply markets and supply performance results, the new business environment requires purchasing to adopt a more anticipative, pro-active and assertive decision making method based upon often incomplete, inaccurate and unreliable information. Besides, the increased attention for the purchasing function from top management has resulted in the need for purchasing professionals to justify their purchasing decisions in these increasingly complex decision making circumstances. In this paper, however, it is argued that within the field of purchasing there is a lack of structured knowledge on what evaluation criteria and norms to use in decision making, the relevance of various discriminating attributes of possible alternatives and the relevance and effect of certain circumstances. This lack of what is referred to as a structured conceptual purchasing decision model hinders purchasing from adopting the required anticipative, pro-active and assertive decision making attitude as advocated in many recent publications. This chapter therefore provides an analysis of purchasing decision making and the (often implicit) models that are used to support decision making, and identifies possibilities for supporting buyers in their decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInnovations in procurement management
EditorsA. Cox, R. Lamming
Place of PublicationLincolnshire
PublisherEarlsgate Press
ISBN (Print)1-873439-46-6
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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