International purchasing offices in China: An evolution process model
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The role of the International Purchasing Office (IPO) in the management of international sourcing activities of multinational corporations (MNCs) has steadily increased in significance, in both developed and emerging economies, since the first adoption of this supply chain strategy in the 1980s. The aim of the paper is to develop an activity/role-based evolution model for the IPO, employing a multiple case study method. The findings suggest that there is an IPO evolution process containing five stages, differing in the depth and scope of activities. It also appears that the stage of the IPO is determined by its strategic importance to its parent company and the development of roles assigned to it.