Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Exploring the Impact of Changes in the Purchasing Function on the job Satisfaction of Purchasing Professionals

This research was motivated by recent trends toward corporate downsizing as well as published reports of downsizing within the purchasing function. The goal of this research was to explore the effect of changes in the purchasing function on the roles, activities, and job satisfaction of the purchasing agent and manager. Using an exploratory case study methodology used, data for the study were collected from twenty-seven interviews with three individuals in each of nine companies, representing three industries. Open-ended yielded insights into the organizational changes confronting purchasing professionals. Anecdotal evidence suggested that the purchasing professionals interviewed were increasingly challenged and satisfied by their new roles and responsibilities. A review of the literature suggested that downsizing might lead to greater levels of role ambiguity, task uncertainty, and general job stress, all likely antecedents to job dissatisfaction. However, the findings suggest that changes in the purchasing function are likely to result in increased job satisfaction consistent with job characteristics theory. While nearly half of the respondents in the research reported moderate or radical downsizing, over seventy-five percent of the respondents reported increased job satisfaction regardless of their employer's downsizing activities. Job dissatisfaction appeared to result, at least anecdotally, from dysfunctional corporate cultures rather than from specific changes in the respondents' positions, roles, or responsibilities.