Elina Karttunen’s article, “Purchasing and supply management skills revisited: an extensive literature review,” provides an overview of purchasing managers. Karttunen focuses on the important skills required by purchasing managers in supply chain management. The research methodology used in this article is a systematic literature review, where the researcher reviewed 57 articles related to purchasing management. Karttunen’s goal of reviewing the articles is to find out the most important skills employed in this field, together with the factors affecting their effectiveness. The review is mainly about personal attributes rather than organizational.
Significantly, the author divides purchasing skills into four; social skills, technical and business administrative skills, internal and external skills, and strategic skills. Social skills are more about the purchasing managers’ behaviors and attitude. They include aspects like communication, problem-solving attributes and team work. Technical and business administration skills relate to operations management activities and the use of specific tools. An excellent example of these skills is environmental awareness. Internal and external skills concern the purchasing manager’s relationships. In this division, Kartunnen focuses on how a purchasing manager interacts with both internal and external organizations’ public. An Example of internal skills, as Kartunnen explains, is customer and employee relationship, whereas an example of external skills is negotiation power. Last is the strategic skills entail the ability to use creativity and intelligence to offer solutions. The study concluded that all these skills are necessary for purchasing management.
Kartunnen’s research revealed that the main factors affecting the purchasing managers’ skills were global purchasing and purchasing social responsibility. The global space for conducting business can be affected by the wide range of diversities that makes purchasing management a complex affair. For instance, language barrier and cultural differences could affect how a purchasing manager conducts his responsibilities. Purchasing social responsibility factors are caused by ethical and moral principles. Kartunnen discovered that the managers’ ethical virtues affected their productivities. In some cases, the managers were challenged when the company’s principles differed from theirs.