Reviewing procurement: a change management model based on action research
by Tony Cragg, Sarrah Chraibi
Abstract: This paper proposes an iterative model for the make or buy of procurement linked to organisational change management. In a multi-year action research case study, the researcher was part of the project team reviewing procurement at the French Railway company. Both the outsourcing of procurement, as a strategic activity of the firm and the proposal of a model for the review process remain underexplored in the academic literature. This paper aims to contribute knowledge to how the key function of procurement can be successfully reorganised in a large firm as part of a change process. The authors find that within the structured change process, an underlying process is detectable, characterized by initiatives being launched, resistance to them (varying in scope and scale), followed by mitigation. Thus, in this case study, changing the procurement organisation of a large firm is shown to be an adaptive and emergent process, where what lies beneath the surface is as important as what is planned.
Keywords: make or buy decision process; outsourcing; procurement; organizational change management; action research.