University of Twente Student Theses


Purchasing skills: Comparing Dutch and Austrian industrial job advertisements with the help of KODE®X

Stek, Klaas (2016) Purchasing skills: Comparing Dutch and Austrian industrial job advertisements with the help of KODE®X.

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Abstract:This thesis is part of the research project ‘Purchasing Education and Research for European Competence Transfer’ (PERFECT) that has the aim to design a harmonized purchasing and supply management (P/SM) curriculum for universities. In the first stage of the research the P/SM landscape is subject of the analysis. Learning objectives in academia, the competencies mentioned in the scientific literature and the subject of this thesis, the skills stated in online P/SM job advertisements, are mapped. This study analyses 99 Austrian and 99 Dutch P/SM job advertisements to find similarities and differences. Employers in both countries are interested in hiring experienced, undergraduate-schooled (BSc) seniors with ‘ERP and SAP knowledge’, experienced with ‘project and process management’, being ‘effective’, ‘proactive’ and ‘decisive’, having ‘team spirit’ and ‘overview’ and a purchaser has to be a ‘holistic thinker’. Additionally, a purchaser must be ‘responsible’ and ‘trustworthy’. It is striking how clear the cultural differences between both countries are displayed in the texts of the job ads: fully in line with the work of Hofstede (1980). Austria shows ‘masculine’ and ‘collectivistic’ features and the Netherlands is ‘feminine’ and ‘individualistic’. Remarkable is also that employers seem to avoid to mention the required ‘know-what’, i.e. the hard skills or the explicit knowledge, at the other hand they are lavish with ‘know-how’, i.e. the soft skills or tacit knowledge. Furthermore, this study found evidence that supports the assumption that a harmonised academic P/SM curriculum does not exist; only 1 percent of the employers ask for applicants with a P/SM degree. P/SM practice and P/SM academia are in accordance with each other: P/SM curricula are scarce and employers do not request P/SM graduates. However, scholars agree that there is a need for purchasers (MSc) that can fulfil tasks in the central strategic position of the P/SM function in a firm. Scholars and employers agree that an important skill for the contemporary purchaser is ‘contemplation’: a purchaser needs to think out-of-the-box, step back, rethink and solve problems; this seem to be characteristics of a strategic thinker. This may indicate there is a latent need for P/SM graduates in companies.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
PERFECT, Dortmund, Germany
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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