International Purchasing Offices: Literature review and research directions
MetadataShow full item record
The International Purchasing Offices (IPOs) of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) play nowadays an increasingly important role in the management of international sourcing activities both in developed and in emerging economies. None of the several literature reviews published on topics such as “international sourcing”, “global operation” or “international supply chain management” has by now systematized the literature developed in twenty years of research concerning this organizational solution. This paper, based on the analysis of 56 works published between 1992 and 2011 in the form of scientific and practitioners’ journal papers, books and government reports, provides the first comprehensive literature review over the “International Purchasing Offices” topic. The main issues (i.e. IPO definition, activities performed by IPOs, location choices, strengths, weaknesses and human resources management) are identified and a conceptual framework is proposed. Building on this, some methodological weaknesses of the existing works and some gaps in the literature are discussed. The work is concluded by suggesting several future research directions.