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Efficacy of purchasing activities and strategic involvement: an international comparison

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of purchasing activities and the purchasing function's involvement with corporate strategy on manufacturing competitiveness as it is affected by national differences. In particular, the authors are interested in the research question: do purchasing theories built on samples from mainly North American and Western European countries apply in other countries with different cultural contexts? Design/methodology/approach ‐ Based on the 511 samples collected from ten countries or two distinct cultural groups (Group 1: Asia; Group 2: Western Europe/USA), the authors tested a purchasing model that is well-grounded in the literature. Two statistical methods were applied. First, multiple-group structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis was performed to test the model. The authors then applied regression analysis to examine whether the two country groups differ in their choice and efficacy of purchasing activities and strategic involvement. Findings ‐ The results suggest that the intensity and efficacy of purchasing activities and strategic involvement vary between the two country groups, Asia and Western Europe/USA. The Western Europe/USA samples adequately fit the purchasing model, but the Asian samples do not. At the item level, the study finds a common set of purchasing activities contributing to manufacturing competitiveness regardless of national differences. The findings suggest that national differences matter in implementing purchasing activities. Originality/value ‐ This study represents a first attempt at using national culture to explain differences in purchasing activities and strategic involvement.
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Keywords: GMRG; Global operations management; National culture; National difference; Purchasing; Supply chain; Supply chain management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 4, 2013

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