Acquisition of supply market intelligence: An information processing perspective

Harri Lorentz, Anna Aminoff, Riikka Kaipia, Matti Pihlajamaa, Jesse Ehtamo, Kari Tanskanen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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The capability to develop and sustain superior knowledge of markets and supply chains, or supply market intelligence (SMI), is an important element in increasing the strategic relevance of purchasing and supply management (PSM). This study draws on information processing theory (IPT) to shed light on how firms acquire SMI. In particular, the study aims to identify the drivers and mechanisms of information processing in SMI acquisition and to explore how the two constructs are related. Our findings emerged from an abductive multiple case study including 22 SMI tasks in eight case companies operating in various manufacturing industries. We find that the drivers of information processing needs in SMI acquisition are related either to uncertainty or equivocality. Uncertainty describes a situation in which decision-makers may be ignorant of a variable's value while equivocality describes a situation in which they may be ignorant of the variable's existence. We identify four structural mechanisms and three information technology mechanisms for information processing in the SMI context. We also find that equivocality seems to trump uncertainty in determining the use of the identified SMI acquisition mechanisms. In addition to elaborating IPT in the SMI context and exploring the theoretical foundations of SMI, we offer practitioners a framework for supporting the design of SMI practices in procurement organisations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100649
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Supply market intelligence
  • Knowledge acquisition
  • Procurement
  • Information processing theory
  • Case study


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  • Best Paper 2020 Award, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management

    Lorentz, Harri (Recipient), Aminoff, Anna (Recipient), Kaipia, Riikka (Recipient), Pihlajamaa, Matti (Recipient), Ehtamo, Jesse (Recipient) & Tanskanen, Kari (Recipient), 1 Apr 2021

    Prize: Honorary award for a career

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