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Training needs of purchasing and supply management personnel in Hong Kong

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Purpose ‐ The importance of purchasing and supply management (PSM) for business performance has received considerable attention in recent years. However, research on PSM training and education is inadequate. This paper aims to present initial findings from PSM practitioners about current PSM training and education needs in Hong Kong. Design/methodology/approach ‐ An industrial survey of PSM participants was conducted. Of the 405 PSM practitioners contacted, 53 responded to the survey, for a response rate of 13.1 percent. Findings ‐ The study identifies current trends, skills and knowledge areas for PSM professionals. The results show that the trends of PSM focus on purchasing cost reduction, the skills focus on negotiation and communication, and the knowledge on supply analysis and relationship management. The study also finds that companies tend to adopt on-the-job training for PSM staff but lack a systematic PSM training approach. Research limitations/implications ‐ The study suggests that human resource development for PSM staff must focus not only on tactical techniques, but also on managerial knowledge and skills. However, the sampled companies are weak at providing PSM training and measuring its results. As this study is limited by the small sample size and the nature of the surveyed region, more empirical research will be required to study the effectiveness of PSM training on business performance. Practical implications ‐ This study shows that companies are weak at staff training in the studied region. Most of the companies surveyed do not have formal training programs and training effectiveness measurements. Knowledge of this is essential for other similar organizations wanting to improve their PSM personnel. Originality/value ‐ This paper identifies current trends, skills and knowledge required for PSM in Hong Kong, which have not previously been reported in literature.
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Keywords: Hong Kong; Purchasing; Supply chain management; Training needs

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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