Supervisor: Dr Farooq Habib

The management of procurement and supply processes in today’s fierce competition environment is a complex task and has become progressively critical for firms in both manufacturing and service sectors. Major changes in business processes, product configurations, technologies, market trends and customer behaviour, bring along remarkable challenges for procurement professionals and supply managers. Exploring, explanation and analysis of the complex problems arising in procurement and supply systems is of paramount importance in surviving and achieving competitive gains in today’s global value chains.

We are currently researching the future of procurement and supply management, as an internal function within organisation, as an external process which spans organisation boundaries, and as a value adding profession which contribute to the organisations’ competitive advantages (Zheng et al., 2007). In particular, we study approaches to segmenting suppliers and procurement strategies to enable more efficient and responsive supply chains.  This builds on existing approaches (Hadeler and Evans, 1994; Olsen and Ellram, 1997; van Weele, 2005) which are predominantly based on Kraljic’s (1983) purchase portfolio matrix.  In the public sector we are conducting studies on the outsourcing of procurement and logistics in the National Health Service to understand how the outsource to the private sector is managed and the impact on procurement and logistics performance (Skipworth and DelBufalo).  We anticipate further research on public procurement as the government’s Structural Reform Plan (Cabinet Office, 2010) recognises the scope for improving the management of public services while allowing them to be more market driven.

Within this context, PhD proposals are expected to address issues related to the design, planning, control, and continuous improvement of procurement and supply management systems. The research proposals can focus on, but need not be limited to, the following, subjects:

  • Outsourcing
  • Public procurement
  • Global Procurement
  • Supplier and procurement segmentation
  • Procurement Risk Management
  • Supply Chain in Emerging Economies and Markets
  • Supplier Relationship
  • Supplier Evaluation, Selection, and Development
  • Green Procurement and Sustainable Supply Management   

The successful scholarship candidate is expected to outline a research proposal that draws on existing and future challenges in procurement and supply management. It is expected that the research proposal will reflect the applicant’s clear understanding of the relevant literature, research methodology, data collection and data analysis methods.

Proposals should be formulated in consultation with Dr Farooq Habib (


Cabinet Office, (2010) Draft Structural Reform Plan,

Hadeler, B.J. and Evans, J.R. (1994), "Supply strategy: capturing the value", Industrial Management, vol. 36, no.34, pp. 3-4

Kraljic, P. (1983), "Purchasing must become supply management", Harvard Business Review,  61:5, September-October, pp. 109–117.

Olsen, R.F. and Ellram, L.M. (1997), "A portfolio approach to supplier relationships", Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 26, no.2, pp. 101-113.

Skipworth, H.D and DelBufalo, E, Logistics and procurement outsourcing in the National Health Service, Supply Chain Management: an International Journal, under review and not yet published

Van Weele, A.J. (2005), "Purchasing and Supply Management: Analysis, strategy, planning and practice", 4th edition, Thomson Learning.

Zheng, J., Knight, L., Harland, C., Humby, S., James, K. (2007), "An analysis of research into the future of purchasing and supply management", Purchasing and Supply Management, 13, 69-83.