A review of the concepts associated with organizational influence is presented; then this perspective is applied to the purchasing function. The conclusion is that purchasing managers' organizational influence is a function of four types of power: (1) position, (2) expert, (3) resource, and (4) political power. Subsequently, five variables determine the extent to which these power bases may be used by purchasing managers. These variables are the industry, firm, department, CEO, and individual characteristics of the purchasing manager. Each of these power bases and variables are explored as they relate to purchasing managers. As a result of the analysis and discussion, five practical guidelines for increasing purchasing's influence are suggested.
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