Procurement’s role in the supply chain and the strategic dimension in the collaboration and development of supplier relations in order to provide competitive advantage

Learning Objectives               

The course objectives are:

- To develop the mindset and skills to understand and facilitate the
   strategic role of S&P in the internal and external supply chain

- To make students familiar with best practice concepts and methods in
   supplier relationship management and supply chain governance as
   pursued by leading edge firms

- To enable students to best use the innovation potential of the supply

- To become familiar with best practice concepts in managing supply
   chain risks

In general, you should be able after the course to apply best practices in managing supplier relationships. This means also that you are able to choose the right governance mechanisms depending on the situation and potential strategic impact and develop the relationship accordingly. Furthermore, you develop a feeling for the crucial impact factors in governing these relationships including awareness for IP, culture etc. Furthermore, you will see how unexpected incidents will affect these relationships and your situation as well as how you can manage these.


The course is motivated by the phenomenon that suppliers have been traditionally perceived as non-strategic source, but nowadays supplier relationship management gained importance as suppliers play more and more a critical role in value creation. Not only by providing cost advantage, but also by providing superior innovation capabilities. This requires a new set of capabilities of the sourcing & procurement professional as he has not only to choose the right governance mechanism, but also has to learn how to interact as a strategic partner. Only if the right supplier is selected and the buyer-supplier relationship is adequately handled it is possible to benefit strategically from the supply base. With this respect we also focus if partnerships really do exist in practice and if it is beneficial for firms to exploit suppliers as much as possible. Extant theories like resource-dependence theory, social exchange theory as well as transaction cost economics will further substantiate our analyses and provide guidance for future business decisions.

Teaching Methods  

A major part of the course consists of lectures related to the literature and some guest lectures from industry. In addition, case discussion and short tasks during the course will further facilitate learning. Also the group and individual assignments are an important pillar for the overall learning success.


The performance assessment will be based on individual and group performance:

- Group Performance (50%) (group case report)

- Individual Performance (50%) (individual submission (15%), final exam (35%))