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2014/2015  KAN-CCMVV1693U  Outsourcing and Supplier Relationships

English Title
Outsourcing and Supplier Relationships

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Course period First Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Kim Sundtoft Hald - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Globalization, International Business, markets and studies
  • Supply Chain Management and Logistics
  • Marketing
  • Corporate and Business Strategy
Last updated on 11-04-2014
Learning objectives
  • Motivate and formulate a specific research question, of value to the research community and to practitioners that addresses one or more aspects of outsourcing decision making, relationship dynamics and/or performance management of supplier relationships or outsourcing.
  • Perform a literature review that provides overview of the existing body of literature of relevance to the research question.
  • Explain the research strategy and the methodological approach.
  • Apply theories/models from the curriculum or from the literature to analyse the formulated research question, using one of the following approaches: A conceptual approach, a structured literature review, a case-based method using primary data, a survey-based method using primary data.
  • Draw conclusions from the analysis that links back to the research question.
  • Communicate clearly the implications of the findings for theory and practice.
  • Reflect on the limitations of the study.
Course prerequisites
Master level students
Individual Project:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Scientific paper
Duration Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
Grading scale 7-step scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period October and October, Week 44
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Course content and structure
It is the aim of the course to provide students a comprehensive view of the managerial process starting with the outsourcing decision and continuing with the initiation, development and control of supplier relationships.
The course takes a buyer centric view and discusses the managerial dilemmas involved in making outsourcing decisions and managing their effects. When outsourcing takes place, relationships are formed with suppliers. This bears relevance for all firms and all industries. One central question is how such relationships can be managed in a network in order for the buying firm to sustain and develop the value expected from outsourcing.
Outsourcing decision making and supplier relationship management are complex issues. This implies that a multitude of subjects are included in the course. They are structured in three broad themes.
One theme will provide a context of outsourcing decision making and network management. Outsourcing decision making theories and models will be introduced and applied on specific case situation. Another theme will define and conceptualize supplier relationships and how they might create value or cost for the buying organization. Central relationship dynamics such as trust, dependence, value and attractiveness will be discussed and linked to models, theories and case-studies. A third theme will discuss performance management implications of outsourcing and supplier relationships. Central effects and implications of outsourcing will be assessed and discussed. Supplier control, development and evaluation practices as well as cost management in supplier relationships will be discussed.
Teaching methods
Extensive preparation before class by students, lectures, student presentations, and in depth case-discussions/​workshops. The use of a discussion oriented teaching style and extensive use of cases will assure a high level of student involvement in the learning process.
Further Information
Changes in course schedule may occur
Wednesday 08.00-11.30, week 38-41
Friday 08.00-11.30, week 38-40
Friday 08.00-12.25, week 41
Expected literature
Berggren, C. & Bengtsson, L. 2004, ―Rethinking Outsourcing in Manufacturing: A Tale of Two Telecom Firms, European Management Journal, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 211-223.
Cánez, L.E., Platts, K.W. & Probert, D.R. 2000, "Developing a framework for make-or-buy decisions", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 20, no. 11, pp. 1313.
Choi, T.Y. and Wu, Z. 2009, ―Triads in Supply Networks: Theorizing Buyer-Supplier-Supplier Re-lationships, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Vol. 45, No. 1, pp. 8-25.
Christiansen, P.E. and Maltz, A. (2002), Becoming An “Interesting” Customer: Procurement Strategies for Buyers without Leverage, International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications, 5 (2), pp. 177-195*
Cordon, C, Vollmann, T., & Vivanco, L. (2005), Numico (A) – Delivering innovation through the supply chain, IMD – International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland, pp. 1-10.
Cox, A., Lonsdale, C, Watson, G., & Wu, Y. (2005), Supplier relationship management as an investment: evidence from a UK study, Journal of General Management, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 27-42.
Dyer, J. H. and Hatch, N.W. (2004), Using Supplier Networks to Learn Faster,MIT Sloan Management Review, spring, pp. 57-63.
Ellegaard, C., Vollmann, T., & Cordon, C. (2002), Freqon – Buyer-Supplier Evolution?, IMD – International Institute for Management Development, Lausanne, Switzerland, pp. 1-13.  (Case)
Hald, K.S., Cordon, C. and Vollmann, T.E. 2009, Towards an understanding of attraction in buyer–supplier relationships, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 38, pp. 960-970
Hald, K.S. and Ellegaard, C.E. 2011, ―Supplier evaluation processes – The shaping and re-shaping of supplier performance, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol. 8.
Hald K.S. 2012, The role of boundary spanners in the formation of customer attractiveness. Industrial Marketing Management, 41(8):1228-1240
Hartley, J.L., Greer, B.M., and Park, S. (2002), Chrysler Leverages Its Suppliers' Improvement Suggestions, Interfaces, Vol. 32, No. 4, July-August 2002, pp. 20-27
Holcomb, T.R. & Hitt, M.A. 2007, ―Toward a model of strategic outsourcing‖, Journal of Opera-tions Management, Vol. 25, pp. 464-481.
Liker, J.K. and Choi, T.Y. (2004), Building Deep Supplier Relationships, Harvard Business Review, December, pp. 104-113.
McCarter, M.W. & Northcraft, G.B. 2007, "Happy together?: Insights and implications of viewing managed supply chains as a social dilemma", Journal of Operations Management, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 498-511.
McIvor, R. 2009, ―How the transaction cost and resource-based theories of the firm inform out-sourcing evaluation‖Journal of Operations Management, Vol. 27, pp. 45–63.
Narayanan, V.G. and Ananth Raman (2004), Aligning Incentives in Supply Chains, Harvard Business Review, 82 (11), pp. 94–102.
Spekman, R.E. (2001), Unitet Technologies Corporation Supplier Development Initiative, Darden School of Business, pp. 1-15.
Wynstra, J.Y.F., Van Weele, A.J. and Weggemann, M. (2001), Managing Supplier involvement in Product development: Three Critical Issues, European Management Journal Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 157–167.
Last updated on 11-04-2014