Purpose: Purchasing has emerged as a key source of competitive advantage. This paper aims to explore how different purchasing strategies are connected to complex supply relationships and to the goal of purchasing. Design/methodology/approach: The study draws on the literature on industrial network theory and industrial buying behaviour. Findings: The contribution describes six types of purchasing strategies that firms exert. These strategies depend on the complexity of supply relationships and the buyer's purchasing goal. Conventional products and services are bought through transactional exchange relationships, whereas strategically important items are purchased through intentional supply networks. Practical implications: Purchasing strategies of a firm emphasise either efficiency or effectiveness of operation. The type of exchange varies according to the nature of supply relationships: it is either transactional or relational. A key implication for managers is that they should recognise the goal of buying, the strategic importance of the object of purchasing, and choose accordingly between the different types of supplier structures. Originality/value: The paper shows that firms' purchasing strategies depend on the nature of their supply relationships and the motive for purchasing. Different strategies emphasise different aspects and events that ultimately manifest themselves in the firms' business models.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Buyer-supplier relationship, Purchasing, Supply chain management
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/08858620910939723
Journal Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing
Citation
Svahn, S. (Senja), & Westerlund, M. (2009). Purchasing strategies in supply relationships. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 24(3-4), 173–181. doi:10.1108/08858620910939723