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Cross‐functional make or buy decision process ownership

Anna Moses (Division of Operations Management, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The purpose of this paper is to explore the area of process ownership and management in cross‐functional make‐or‐buy decision processes.


Multiple case studies are used including both a longitudinal in‐depth case study and two retrospective case studies. The data were analyzed using cross‐case comparison as well as analysis through existing literature in the field of make‐or‐buy decision processes, after which propositions for further research were developed.


The propositions found concern in the fact that the function being responsible for the industrial network also should own the decision process. Letting research and development become a more powerful decision maker and distinguish between different types of make‐or‐buy decisions are also important aspects to consider.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are a first attempt in creating a foundation for future research in the area of process ownership and management of make‐or‐buy decisions. A future need to further develop these propositions is essential.

Practical implications

The function mostly affected by the outcome of the decision should be in charge of the process, and should also be process manager. The process owner should create awareness of different types of make‐or‐buy decisions.


Recently, make‐or‐buy decision processes are considered strategic decision processes, but neither in research nor industry is it clear who should own and manage these decision processes. The paper stretches this fact and brings forth possible owners.



Moses, A. (2011), "Cross‐functional make or buy decision process ownership", Management Research Review, Vol. 34 No. 9, pp. 1042-1060.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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