Purchasing in an R&D Environment: Effective Teamwork in Business

By Stuart, F. Ian | International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, Fall 1991 | Go to article overview

Purchasing in an R&D Environment: Effective Teamwork in Business


Stuart, F. Ian, International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management


This article examines the concept of collaborative efforts within organizations, using the interface between purchasing personnel and scientists in research centers as the unit of analysis. The study indicates that significant perceptual benefits and client satisfaction can be achieved as a result of meaningful purchasing involvement in the acquisition process. The study also suggests some prerequisites for achieving a high level of meaningful involvement within a highly technical environment for complex purchase decisions.

Fifty years of management study have witnessed little change in what constitutes a fundamental problem in organizations. Achieving shared values, common goals, and teamwork from individuals to achieve corporate objectives within a framework of personal satisfaction appears to be a continuing management challenge. A number of noted researchers believe that achieving the correct balance between individual needs and group objectives provides strategic benefits for the organization and ensures continued existence and success of the organization.[1] In reality, however, achievement of such collaborative efforts on a consistent basis seems to be a rarity.

For example, prior research has shown that support services in a research function are instrumental in the achievement of research productivity. One research study describes research support services as an integral element in creating and maintaining a climate for creativity[2] Another notes that many of the best research establishments are characterized by a high ratio of support personnel to active scientists.[3]

This study uses the research function as the organizational unit of interest, and the role of the purchasing function as representative of a professional support service. The setting and the relationship of these functional groups is but one example of the broader management issue of cooperation between two specialists in the achievement of a common objective. The study's primary objective was to determine whether or not collaborative efforts existed and, if so, what benefits were achieve from such collaborative efforts.

PRIOR RESEARCH AND CONCEPTUAL

DEVELOPMENT

Meaningful Involvement

The research reported in this article focused on the process by which a scientist's need for equipment was satisfied, coupled with the extend of meaningful purchasing involvement in that process. Meaningful involvement was defined as:

The timely and useful collaboration of purchasing's

expertise and the scientist's knowledge in all aspects of

the equipment acquisition process. This includes the

decision-making process leading to the best buy decision,

with the objective of satisfying the immediate needs

of the specifier and the long-term needs and strategic

objective of the research unit as a whole.

Increasing the level of purchasing involvement in equipment acquisitions was thought to yield a significant contribution to the R&D function. This contribution can take the form of satisfying the immediate needs of the requesting scientist - and it can also take the form of a contribution toward the achievement of the research unit's strategic objectives.

Purchasing Effectiveness: The Traditional Models

Purchasing effectiveness has been discussed in terms of involvement levels of purchasing personnel during the various phases of the acquisition process. For example, the early Robinson-Faris model described the buying process in terms of a chronological sequence of stages, as illustrated in Table I.[4]

               Table I
   STAGES OF THE ROBINSON-FARIS MODEL
Stages Task Activity
  1   Anticipation of recognition of a need/problem
  2   Determination and description of the
      characteristics of the needed item
  3   Determination of the quantity of the needed item
  4   Search for and qualification of potential sources
  5   Request for and preliminary analysis of
      proposals
  6   Evaluation of proposals and selection of suppliers
  7   Selection of an order methodology
  8   Performance feedback and evaluation

Suppliers are keenly interested in both identifying the key decision makers in the process and interacting at the formative stages of the buying process. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Purchasing in an R&D Environment: Effective Teamwork in Business
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.