The use of modelling in purchasing/supply management research

Aristides Matopoulos*, John E. Bell, Emel Aktas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this research to explore the use of modelling in the field of Purchasing and Supply Management (P/SM). We are particularly interested in identifying the specific areas of P/SM where there are opportunities for the use of modelling based methods. The paper starts with an overview of main types of modelling and also provides a categorisation of the main P/SM research themes. Our research shows that there are many opportunities for using descriptive, predictive and prescriptive modelling approaches in all areas of P/SM research from the ones with a focus on the actual function from a purely operational and execution perspective (e.g. purchasing processes and behaviour) to the ones with a focus on the organisational level from a more strategic perspective (e.g. strategy and policy). We conclude that future P/SM research needs to explore the value of modelling not just at the functional or operational level, but also at the organisation and strategic level respectively. We also acknowledge that while using empirical results to inform and improve models has advantages, there are also drawbacks, which relate to the value, the practical relevance and the generalisability of the modelling based approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262–265
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number4
Early online date19 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

© 2016, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


  • purchasing and supply management
  • modelling
  • multi-method research


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