The role of critical incidents in the development of global sourcing-results of an in-depth case study

Cees J. Gelderman*, Janjaap Semeijn, Niels Plugge

*Corresponding author for this work

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11 Citations (Web of Science)


Since the early 1980s companies have tried to implement coherent global sourcing strategies. Research has identified many benefits and motives for global sourcing. However, it remains unclear how companies are reaching higher levels of global sourcing. We employed a single embedded case study at royal brinkman (leader in the dutch horticulture industry) to explore the role of critical incidents in the development of global sourcing strategies. Company documents and interviews revealed which critical incident had a substantial impact on the development of global sourcing strategies. Apparently, critical incidents can initiate and further stimulate global sourcing. Global sourcing decisions were mainly an opportunistic response to unforeseen events. Reactive strategies appear to govern global sourcing despite stated intended strategies. A proactive strategy does not appear to be a requirement to make progress in the global sourcing stages model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-224
JournalJournal of Purchasing and Supply Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016


  • Global sourcing
  • Critical incidents
  • Global sourcing level
  • Case study

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