Decentralized Procurement in Light of Strategic Inventories

Anil Arya, Hans Frimor, Brian Mittendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The centralization versus decentralization choice is perhaps the quintessential organizational structure decision. In the operations realm, this choice is particularly critical when it comes to the procurement function. Why firms may opt to decentralize procurement has been often studied and confirmed to be a multifaceted choice. This paper complements existing studies by detailing the trade-offs in the centralization versus decentralization decision in light of firms' strategic use of inventories to influence supplier pricing. In particular, we demonstrate that a firm's decision to cede procurement choices to its individual divisions can help moderate inventory levels and provide a natural salve on supply chain frictions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Science
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)578-585
Publication statusPublished - 1. Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Decentralization
  • Inventory management
  • Supply chain coordination


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