Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Swanish, Peter T.||Hackamack, Lawrence C. (Lawrence Carroll), 1921-

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Management


Industrial procurement


This thesis is a study of the developments that have taken place in industrial purchasing in a selected number of companies and of the nature of the changes that have transpired. The study examines (1) evidences of professionalization; (2) how far professionalization has progressed, if at all; and (3) the way in which activities that fall under the head of purchasing, as they are described in literature and in the job descriptions of a selected number of companies, are viewed by engaged in the activity. These may be defined as corollary problems. A questionnaire survey were made of a selected number of industrial companies in the Chicago area in order to ascertain the present activities of the purchasing function included in such companies. Several of the key officers of the Purchasing Agents Association of Chicago were interviewed in order to ascertain the progress made, if any, in the professionalization of the purchasing function in this association. The National Association of Purchasing Agents, one of the largest purchasing associations in the United States, has published and distributed materials on the specialized activities of purchasing and general knowledge relating to the purchasing function. A syllabus also has been published by the Association to serve as a measure to guide the purchaser in acquiring his college education. This association has a written set of standards and principles. Annual awards are given to outstanding purchasers of the year. In this respect, three of the four criteria of a profession, spelled out by Bernard Barber, have been approximately fulfilled; these three criteria are generalized and systematic knowledge, a code of ethics, and a system of symbolic awards. The fourth criteria, however, primary orientation to the community, has not been met, since neither the purchase himself, nor the top management of the companies studied, appear to fully recognize the effect the purchasing function has on both the company and the community.


Includes bibliographical references.


ix, 202 pages




Northern Illinois University

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