Title: Avoiding the pitfalls of cooperative purchasing through control and coordination: insights from a humanitarian context

Authors: Heidi Herlin; Ala Pazirandeh

Addresses: Department of Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography, Hanken School of Economics, FIN – 00101 Helsinki, Finland ' Department of Industrial Management and Logistics, Lund University, SE – 221 00, Lund, Sweden

Abstract: In this paper, barriers to the success of cooperative purchasing are discussed from an inter-organisational coordination perspective and a framework for successful cooperative purchasing is introduced. Potential benefits such as economies of scale, better transparency and more efficient information exchange have generated high interest for cooperative purchasing as a supply chain strategy. However, literature notes several instances of such cooperation not having the expected outcomes. We aimed to further the understanding of the coordination barriers to the success of cooperative purchasing. By studying an exemplary situation of an unsuccessful cooperative purchasing, the attractiveness and inherent complexity of a cooperative purchasing process is highlighted. This study draws on and adds to the existing literature on cooperative purchasing by discussing coordination related barriers to cooperative purchasing and provides managerial insights into what to consider when engaging in the cooperative purchasing strategy to avoid the pitfalls.

Keywords: control; cooperative purchasing; humanitarian logistics; inter-organisational coordination; public sector procurement; procurement management; supply chain relationships; supply chain management; SCM; humanitarian relief.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2015.069155

International Journal of Procurement Management, 2015 Vol.8 No.3, pp.303 - 325

Received: 12 Dec 2013
Accepted: 14 Feb 2014

Published online: 30 Apr 2015 *

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