A knowledge-based view of analytics capability in purchasing and supply management
Journal article, 2021

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to elaborate on how analytics capability develops within the PSM function. This study is an in-depth exploration of how analytics capability develops within the purchasing and supply management (PSM) function. Design/methodology/approach: A multiple case study was conducted of the PSM function of six case firms, in which primary data were collected through semi-structured interviews with PSM analytics stakeholders. The data were analyzed based on an analytics capability framework derived from the literature. Cases were chosen based on them having advanced PSM practices and ongoing analytics projects in the PSM area. Findings: The findings shed light on how the firms develop their analytics capability in the PSM functional area. While we identify several commonalities in this respect, the authors also observe differences in how firms organize for analytics, bringing analytics and PSM decision-makers together. Building on the knowledge-based view of the firm, The authors offer a theoretical explanation of our observations, highlighting the user-driven side of analytics development, which has largely been unrecognized by prior literature. The authors also offer an explanation of the observed dual role that analytics takes in cross-functional initiatives. Research limitations/implications: The exploratory nature of our study limits the generalizability of our results. Further, our limited number of cases and interviewees indicate that there is still much to explore in the phenomenon of developing analytics capability. Practical implications: Our findings can help firms gain a better understanding of how they could develop their analytics capability and what issues they need to consider when seeking leveraging data through analytics for PSM decisions. Originality/value: This paper is, to the best knowledge of the authors, the first empirical study of analytics capability in PSM.



Knowledge integration

Data analytics

Purchasing and supply management

Analytics capability


Mikael Öhman

Aalto University

Ala Arvidsson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Patrik Jonsson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Riikka Kaipia

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Aalto University

International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management

0960-0035 (ISSN)

Vol. In Press

Development of a Procurement Big Data software and method.

VINNOVA (2017-00977), 2017-01-01 -- 2019-01-01.

Subject Categories

Other Mechanical Engineering

Transport Systems and Logistics

Business Administration

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology



Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship



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