To meet today’s high demands on the purchasing function, sourcing teams have become the standard in contemporary corporate purchasing organizations. Sourcing teams are often started with high expectations. However, after making a promising start many of these teams appear to be unable to operate effectively and to meet management expectations. This study shows that sourcing team effectiveness is particularly hindered by a lack of team perspective in many purchasing organizations. In this paper, the results of a large-scale, cross-sectional survey to address the success factors for sourcing teams are discussed. We aim to clarify the factors behind sourcing team performance, taking into account the specific task and organizational context. It is concluded that purchasing executives should shift their focus towards employee involvement and team processes, to enable teams to actually meet and even surpass the expectations placed on them.