The University of Southampton

MANG6316 Purchasing and Supply Management

Module Overview

This module positions inter-organisational business relationships at the core of the analysis to enable effective strategic, operational, purchasing and logistical decision making. This is set in the context of global supply and demand markets. It provides a complement to international business strategy, marketing and operations topics.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This course module aims to provide you with an appreciation and understanding of the roles and position of strategic purchasing and supply within the organisation, the processes that support it, and the implications of electronic commerce. With many businesses spending up to 70-80% of their operational budget with outside goods and service suppliers there is scope for cost saving by managing the activities well. However by selecting good suppliers and managing their contribution, the competitive position of the organisation can be enhanced. Put into a global context of extended supply chains and emerging competitor and market opportunities and the importance of these activities is clear.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Discuss the principles and practices of purchasing and supply management;
  • Debate the underlying principles in organisation structure, law and negotiation and their application to strategy and operations;
  • Recognise the effects of the Make or Buy option.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Structure and solve problems;
  • Analyse the appropriateness of decision making methods;
  • Utilise oral and written communication.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the cost benefit of cooperation and competition in business transactions;
  • Undertake critical analysis of supply management situations;
  • Differentiate strategic and operational purchasing decisions and the factors to be managed in both situations.


Purchasing Principles and Processes in Context • Overview of supply strategy; • Theories of Inter-organisational Management; • Links between policy, strategy and operation. Role and position of Purchasing • Organisational position, structure and resources for Strategic Purchasing and Supply; • Intra-organisational relationships; • Role of technology and e-commerce; • Organisational structure for global operation. Processes • Contract law; • Negotiation principles and practice; • Purchasing as a cluster of interdependent processes; • What processes are ‘done or bought’; • Sourcing options including introduction to out-sourcing strategies/agents; • Linking processes to strategy and the global context. Supply Relationships, Chains and Networks • Established interpretations of levels of supply management; • Portfolios of relationships and their management. Power and collaboration • Role and position of power; • Approaches which recognise power dimensions and strategies. Performance Assessment Approaches • The basics of performance measurement, in this context; • Supplier assessment techniques; • Relationship assessment and evaluation; • Supply development strategies; • Linking development to supplier relationship management.

Special Features

This module takes a cross disciplinary and cross sector approach to global operations in supply chains. As such the learning draws on other academic approaches and life experience where possible.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Learning activities include • Lectures, a part of which are to be delivered by external consultants and other experts to bring practice into balance with theory. • Use of on-line materials • An individual assignment reflecting on the lessons learned • In-class case study / problem solving activities • Private study

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Cox, A., Sanderson, J. and Watson, G. (2000). Power Regimes. 

Ford, D., Gadde, L-E., Hakansson, H and Snehota, I. (2011). Managing Business Relationships. 

Rhodes, E., Warren, J. P. & Carter, R. (Eds) (2006). Supply Chains and Total Product Systems. 

Griffiths M and Griffiths (2002). Law for Purchasing and Supply. 

Cousins, P D., Lamming R C, Lawson B, Squire, B. (2008). Strategic Supply Management: Theories, Concepts and Practice. 

Gadde, L-E., Hakansson, H and Persson, G. (2010). Supply Network Strategies. 

Macbeth, D. K. (2012). Contract Lifecycle Management. 

Monczka, R, Trent, R & Handfield, R (2005). Purchasing and Supply Chain Management. 

Hines T (2013). Supply Chain Strategies: Demand-Driven and Customer-Focused. 

Hughes J, Ralf M and Michels B (1998). Transform Your Supply Chain. 

Van Weele A J (2014). Purchasing and Supply Chain Management. 



Class discussions


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 70%
Individual reflection  (500 words) 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 70%
Individual reflection  (500 words) 30%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual assignment  (2500 words) 70%
Individual reflection  (500 words) 30%
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