The cultural embeddedness of professional service purchasing-A comparative study of German and Swedish companies

Frida Pemer, Jost Sieweke, Andreas Werr, Stephanie Birkner, Michael Mohe

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research on professional service purchasing generally takes a culturally universalistic approach, implicitly assuming the generalizability of research findings and normative models to different cultural contexts. However, research in related disciplines points to the influence of national culture on managers' decisions, thereby questioning the culturally universalistic approach. The purpose of this paper is to explore differences in professional service purchasing in different cultural contexts. Based on a survey of large organizations, we analyze how the purchasing process for a specific type of professional services - management consulting services - is organized in two cultural contexts (i.e. Germany and Sweden). The results indicate that organizations in Germany and Sweden differ in the way they approach key aspects of the purchasing process. These differences are discussed in relation to two central cultural dimensions - uncertainty avoidance and masculinity-femininity - in which Germany and Sweden take very different positions. It is proposed that uncertainty avoidance mainly influences the first steps in the purchasing process (specify, select and contract) whereas masculinity-femininity mainly influences the remaining steps (order, expedite and evaluate). The paper contributes to the purchasing and supply management literature by empirically illustrating differences in purchasing practices in different cultural contexts and developing theory-driven propositions for the influence of national culture on the professional service purchasing process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-285
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Purchasing & Supply Management
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014

Fingerprint

Comparative study
Professional services
Purchasing
Purchasing process
Cultural context
Embeddedness
Sweden
Germany
Femininity
Uncertainty avoidance
National cultures
Masculinity
Cultural dimensions
Management consulting
Managers
Supply management
Service management
Generalizability

Keywords

  • Management consulting services
  • Masculinity-femininity
  • National culture
  • Professional services
  • Purchasing process
  • Uncertainty avoidance

Cite this

@article{de263484da6a4c5882ec37838c63a05d,
title = "The cultural embeddedness of professional service purchasing-A comparative study of German and Swedish companies",
abstract = "Research on professional service purchasing generally takes a culturally universalistic approach, implicitly assuming the generalizability of research findings and normative models to different cultural contexts. However, research in related disciplines points to the influence of national culture on managers' decisions, thereby questioning the culturally universalistic approach. The purpose of this paper is to explore differences in professional service purchasing in different cultural contexts. Based on a survey of large organizations, we analyze how the purchasing process for a specific type of professional services - management consulting services - is organized in two cultural contexts (i.e. Germany and Sweden). The results indicate that organizations in Germany and Sweden differ in the way they approach key aspects of the purchasing process. These differences are discussed in relation to two central cultural dimensions - uncertainty avoidance and masculinity-femininity - in which Germany and Sweden take very different positions. It is proposed that uncertainty avoidance mainly influences the first steps in the purchasing process (specify, select and contract) whereas masculinity-femininity mainly influences the remaining steps (order, expedite and evaluate). The paper contributes to the purchasing and supply management literature by empirically illustrating differences in purchasing practices in different cultural contexts and developing theory-driven propositions for the influence of national culture on the professional service purchasing process.",
keywords = "Management consulting services, Masculinity-femininity, National culture, Professional services, Purchasing process, Uncertainty avoidance",
author = "Frida Pemer and Jost Sieweke and Andreas Werr and Stephanie Birkner and Michael Mohe",
year = "2014",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.pursup.2014.05.002",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
pages = "273--285",
journal = "Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management",
issn = "1478-4092",
publisher = "Elsevier Limited",
number = "4",

}

The cultural embeddedness of professional service purchasing-A comparative study of German and Swedish companies. / Pemer, Frida; Sieweke, Jost; Werr, Andreas; Birkner, Stephanie; Mohe, Michael.

In: Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, Vol. 20, No. 4, 01.12.2014, p. 273-285.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The cultural embeddedness of professional service purchasing-A comparative study of German and Swedish companies

AU - Pemer, Frida

AU - Sieweke, Jost

AU - Werr, Andreas

AU - Birkner, Stephanie

AU - Mohe, Michael

PY - 2014/12/1

Y1 - 2014/12/1

N2 - Research on professional service purchasing generally takes a culturally universalistic approach, implicitly assuming the generalizability of research findings and normative models to different cultural contexts. However, research in related disciplines points to the influence of national culture on managers' decisions, thereby questioning the culturally universalistic approach. The purpose of this paper is to explore differences in professional service purchasing in different cultural contexts. Based on a survey of large organizations, we analyze how the purchasing process for a specific type of professional services - management consulting services - is organized in two cultural contexts (i.e. Germany and Sweden). The results indicate that organizations in Germany and Sweden differ in the way they approach key aspects of the purchasing process. These differences are discussed in relation to two central cultural dimensions - uncertainty avoidance and masculinity-femininity - in which Germany and Sweden take very different positions. It is proposed that uncertainty avoidance mainly influences the first steps in the purchasing process (specify, select and contract) whereas masculinity-femininity mainly influences the remaining steps (order, expedite and evaluate). The paper contributes to the purchasing and supply management literature by empirically illustrating differences in purchasing practices in different cultural contexts and developing theory-driven propositions for the influence of national culture on the professional service purchasing process.

AB - Research on professional service purchasing generally takes a culturally universalistic approach, implicitly assuming the generalizability of research findings and normative models to different cultural contexts. However, research in related disciplines points to the influence of national culture on managers' decisions, thereby questioning the culturally universalistic approach. The purpose of this paper is to explore differences in professional service purchasing in different cultural contexts. Based on a survey of large organizations, we analyze how the purchasing process for a specific type of professional services - management consulting services - is organized in two cultural contexts (i.e. Germany and Sweden). The results indicate that organizations in Germany and Sweden differ in the way they approach key aspects of the purchasing process. These differences are discussed in relation to two central cultural dimensions - uncertainty avoidance and masculinity-femininity - in which Germany and Sweden take very different positions. It is proposed that uncertainty avoidance mainly influences the first steps in the purchasing process (specify, select and contract) whereas masculinity-femininity mainly influences the remaining steps (order, expedite and evaluate). The paper contributes to the purchasing and supply management literature by empirically illustrating differences in purchasing practices in different cultural contexts and developing theory-driven propositions for the influence of national culture on the professional service purchasing process.

KW - Management consulting services

KW - Masculinity-femininity

KW - National culture

KW - Professional services

KW - Purchasing process

KW - Uncertainty avoidance

U2 - 10.1016/j.pursup.2014.05.002

DO - 10.1016/j.pursup.2014.05.002

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 273

EP - 285

JO - Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management

JF - Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management

SN - 1478-4092

IS - 4

ER -