Digitalisation research

The MTC foundation is a great initiative bringing together researchers and practitioners. Building a bridge not solely from research to practitioners, but a bridge between research and practice, transferring insights and knowledge also from practitioners to research. This is essential for researchers in understanding which challenges and subjects that are important to approach and focus on. Purchasing as a subject has not received the attention it deserves and hopefully this initiative can contribute to an increased focus on purchasing both within academia and within companies and organizations. This will lead to new knowledge and advancement for both private and public purchasing organizations. 

Srai & Lorentz (2019) develop an approach to evaluating designs for digitalisation interventions in purchasing and supply management (PSM), and they identify some fundamental design principles for such interventions. The research aims to facilitate digitalisation interventions in purchasing and supply management functions and to identify fundamental design principles for such interventions. For this aim a digitalisation grid is introduced which links a set of identified digital technologies (eg. Internet of Things, Cloud, Blockchain etc.) with various procurement value drivers (coordination and control, relationship management etc.).

With a focus on supply chains, Kosmol et al (2019) also focus on the challenges of implementing digital technologies, asking the question: When can a company and its purchasing function be considered ready to embark on the journey toward advanced digital procurement? They conceptualize digital procurement readiness as a critical antecedent on the side of the buying firm and supplier digital readiness as the necessary complement on the other side of the dyad. Based on case studies of six buyer-supplier dyads they define readiness as a company’s ability to embrace and use new digital technologies in procurement, and divide it up in technological and organizational readiness. They show that even when a buying firm has the necessary digital procurement readiness, a lack of readiness on the supplier side impedes the implementation of digital procurement technologies.

In two other, recent articles the use of big data in procurement is in focus. Zeisel (2020)  portrays a conceptual framework for big data applications in the procurement function connecting different data sources, skilled teams, and big data analytics. In his article he argues that in the procurement function there are few visible practical applications of a full-fledged big data  scenario so far. Along the same lines, Pazirandhe Arvidsson et al (2021) develops a research agenda for big data in purchasing and supply management. They synthesise knowledge about big data (BD) in the area of purchasing and supply management (PSM) in order to develop an agenda for future research. For example, they identify BD applications for, for example, supplier selection, supply risk management, and supply visibility.


Arvidsson, A., Melander, L., & Agndal, H. (2022). Social cross-functional vendor selection in technologically uncertain sourcing situations. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 65, 101696. Available online:


Arvidsson, A., Jonsson, P., Kaipia, R. (2020) “Big data in purchasing and supply management: A research agenda.” International Journal of Procurement Management 1 (2020): 1. Available online:


Jagjit Singh Srai, Harri Lorentz (2019),  “Developing design principles for the digitalisation of purchasing and supply management”, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Volume 25, Issue 1. Available online:


Kosmol, T., Reimann, F., Kaufmann, L. (2019), You’ll never walk alone: Why we need a supply chain practice view on digital procurement, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Volume 25, Issue 4. Available online:


Zeisel, S. (2020). “A framework and use cases for big data in procurement,” International Journal of Procurement Management, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 13(6), pages 775-793. Available online:

Öhman, M., Arvidsson, A., Jonsson, P., & Kaipia, R. (2021). A knowledge-based view of analytics capability in purchasing and supply  management. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management.  Available online: