Communication in International Purchasing
: A Study of Communicational Influences On the Purchasing Process

  • Maria Nilsson
  • Marcus Malveholm

    Student thesis: Master, one year


    In recent years globalization has caused companies to internationalize the purchasing of material, products and services. By establishing supply-chains on foreign markets companies can buy products cheaper, which allows for the sustaining of competitiveness and the cutting of costs. One of the key aspects of purchasing is the interaction between the parties involved, the communication between buyer and supplier.

    The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how communication between Swedish purchasers and Chinese suppliers affects the outcome of the trade and the buyer-supplier relationship. The research has adopted an inductive approach with some hints of deductive nature.

    Problems in the purchasing process were identified by conducting pilot interviews. Based on these problems theories were reviewed and interpreted, followed by the collection of qualitative data through unstructured interviews with six companies in the manufacturing industry. The gathered material is presented in a cross-case analysis, accompanied by a discussion.

    The findings indicate that communication between participants involved in the purchasing process affect both the outcome of the trade and the development of buyer-supplier relationships. How and why this affects trade is presented in models and through discussion. Suggestions for future research include a similar research from a HRM perspective.

    By combining aspects of interaction and purchasing processes, this study has examined how communication affects purchasing on an international level. By so doing the results of this dissertation may be of interest to companies that purchase internationally or have plans to start doing so.

    Date of Award2008-Dec-01
    Original languageEnglish

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Law (505)

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