Recently Ramsay (2001) applied the resource based view of the firm (RBV) to argue that purchasing is a largely irrelevant activity from a strategic management point of view. In this paper it will be argued to the contrary on several grounds. First, it will be shown there is a much wider theoretical base underlying the field of strategic management, from which arguments can be drawn to substantiate that purchasing can indeed have strategic impact. Second, recent developments in the RBV will be discussed to illustrate that also within the RBV purchasing is a strategic activity. Furthermore there is much empirical evidence to demonstrate that purchasing and supply management activities contribute to sustainable competitive advantage. The paper then puts forward a systematic set of criteria, which may be of value to purchasing management researchers to assess whether studied phenomena have strategic impact. Finally some hints are given for future research directions
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