The purpose of this paper is to examine the key recommendations of early practitioners of purchasing management regarding supplier relationships and how policies and practices for obtaining lower unit prices affect buyer‐seller relationships.
The paper reviews the seven earliest books published on purchasing in the period 1915‐1940, and contrasts with common purchasing practices currently used by large corporations.
The logical, practical recommendations made by purchasing managers in the early 1900s differ markedly from the imprudent practices used by the managers of most large corporations today.
Research is limited by the inability to speak to deceased authors/purchasing practitioners cited to gain their venerable insights on the longevity of value‐destroying dysfunctional purchasing practices.
This paper shows how the common purchasing performance metric and the zero‐sum policies and practices used to obtain lower unit prices degrade buyer‐seller relationships and contribute to regression in the practice of purchasing and supply chain management, as well as in business overall.
This paper will be helpful to academics who study purchasing history as well as current purchasing and supplier relationship management practices. Practitioners will benefit by becoming reacquainted with sensible practices long known to result in more favorable outcomes.
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