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    IMP Journal Seminar 2012



    Chalmers University of Technology

    invites to:

    The IMP JOURNAL Seminar 2012

    The IMP Journal seminar 2012 will be held at Chalmersska huset, Södra Hamngatan 11, Gothenburg, Sweden, May 10th –11th 2012.

    The aim of the seminar is to discuss papers devoted to three different but related aspects of purchasing and supply networks. The papers will be discussed in small groups among researchers engaged in the following issues:

    - Strategic Sourcing

    - Supply Networks

    - Organising for Purchasing

    The end result will be three special issues of THE IMP JOURNAL. The ambitions are twofold: To share ideas among the authors and to enhance the quality of the papers.

    Time table for paper production: Provide an abstract (minimum two pages) of a paper on one of the themes by the 1st of November 2011. Abstracts for each special issue will be reviewed by the editors. Submit a full paper version by the 10th of January. Reviews will be returned by the 10th of February.

    Submit final papers by the 30th of April 2012. Following the seminar all authors will be asked to revise the paper according to the discussions with the reviewers and the editors.

    Time table for the seminar: The seminar starts at 10 am on Thursday the 10th and will be concluded at 1 pm Friday the 11th of May. There is no fee for the seminar or for the meals. Hotels are to be booked by the participants. Some suggestions:

    City Hotel, Lorensbergsgatan 6, Hotel Royal, Drottninggatan 67, Scandic Hotel, Engelbrektsgatan 73, First Hotel Avalon, Kungstorget 9,

    N.B. These hotels all offer discounts for Chalmers’ guests.

    Welcome to send abstracts to the THE IMP JOURNAL Seminar in Gothenburg 2012!

    Finn Wynstra, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (Guest editor, Strategic Sourcing, email:

    Ann-Charlott Pedersen, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

    (Guest editor, Supply Networks, email:

    Anna Dubois, Chalmers University of Technology

    (Guest editor, Organising for Purchasing, email:

    Håkan Håkansson, Norwegian School of Management, BI,

    (Editor, THE IMP JOURNAL, email:


    THE IMP JOURNAL Call for papers

    Special Issue

    Strategic Sourcing

    The strategic potential of purchasing and supply management has been defined in terms of three roles: rationalisation, structure and development (Axelsson and Håkansson, 1984). Managing individual supplier relations, but also directing and controlling the overall sourcing function can usefully be analysed in terms of these highly interdependent roles: how to prioritise and to balance between efforts and resources to reduce price and cost, to achieve a balance of power between buyer and supplier, to renew and innovate products and processes?

    In this special issue, we want to particularly focus on these strategic sourcing roles at the organisational level. In other words, we are not primarily interested in the management of individual buyer-supplier relations, but rather in the way how the aggregate supply network – and the internal function – of an organisation is aligned with overall competitive strategy. We are particularly interested in longitudinal studies that document and analyse the development of an organisation and its supply network, for instance from a predominant focus on the rationalisation role to increased emphasis on the development (innovation) role. Papers submitted to this special issue may seek to study the following research questions: What internal and external resources and capabilities are required for executing the various roles of purchasing and supply management? In what way does the configuration of these roles, and their relative salience for an individual organisation, have an impact on the structure of the supply network? How is the configuration and relative emphasis of the strategic roles of purchasing and supply management related to the overall corporate strategy?

    THE IMP JOURNAL Call for papers

    Special Issue

    Supply Networks

    Within the field of supply management there is a growing recognition that instead of managing the suppliers or the supplier relationships is isolation, the buying firm needs to consider the network surrounding the suppliers (Gadde and Håkansson, 2001, Choi and Kim, 2008). Focusing on supply networks implies seeing beyond the single supply chain because firms are generally part of a number of different but related supply chains, and thus have several customers and suppliers. Hence, supply networks essentially consist of a set of interconnect supply chains, including both upstream and downstream relationships (Harland et al., 2004).

    There is still a dearth of studies which investigate the effects of supply network initiatives, and address how connections between different relationships may have a major impact on several strategic supplier related decisions. Methodologically we welcome singe case as well as multiple case studies that provide insights into why they come about, how they develop, how they dissolve and the different types of effect they may or may not bring about.

    In the special issue we want to focus on different characteristics of supply networks both related to structure and process, for example: What characterises supply networks? How can firms design and create new supply networks, and/or start up new supply network initiatives? How do supply networks emerge and evolve through interaction in a larger network context? How can a buying firm manage/strategise in a supply network? How can suppliers react and strategise in relation to buying firms starting up supply networks? How suppliers are selected for a supply network? How innovation is organised in supply networks? Supply network initiatives by small and medium size firms Supply networks as practice

    THE IMP JOURNAL Call for papers Special Issue

    Organising for Purchasing

    Organising is a key theme in industrial purchasing. It contains two broad dimensions: the firm-internal organising of the purchasing function and the external organising of supplier relationships. While a lot of research has focused on one or the other, there is a growing need to focus the interplay between the two (Gadde et al. 2010).

    The internal organising of the purchasing function has to do with how a company assigns duties, responsibilities and authority to manage its activities, products, functions and markets to meet its objectives (Rozemeijer and Wynstra, 2005:87):

    “It seems as if major changes in patterns of behaviour to a great extent are due to changes in organizational design, processes and procedures […] changes in performance will normally require changes in organizational design.”

    Key aspects of organising the purchasing function include: centralisation-decentralisation, relation to other functions, cross-functional teams and division of tasks within the purchasing organisation. Since every decision regarding these aspects calls for compromises between various performance dimensions, change typically characterises the way firms organise purchasing over time.

    When external organising is concerned the focus is set on organising in supply networks from the perspective of the individual buying firm. Key aspects of external organising typically include: sourcing strategies, the size of the supplier base and how to relate suppliers and supplier relationships to one other e.g. by tiering. However, internal and external organising issues cannot be separated but need to be considered as interdependent ones:

    “… from a supply network perspective the most essential issue is how to combine internal and external aspects in the organising of the supply side. This combining needs to consider an outside-in perspective as a complement to the inside-out view.” (Gadde et al. 2010: 208).

    Hence, there is a need to identify ways of approaching the links between internal and external organising aspects. Some examples of such attempts include: a suggestion of how to analyse the connection between the purchasing unit’s internal and external relations (Dubois and Wynstra, 2005), organising with regard to the development of technical systems (Dubois and Araujo, 2006) and with regard to system sourcing (Hessel, 2011).

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