Michiel R. Leenders
Professor Emeritus, Operations Management
Director, Ivey Purchasing Managers Index
- Faculty >
- Reverse Marketing
- Outsourcing/Make or Buy
- Supply Strategy
- Case Method
Michiel R. Leenders is the former Chairman of the Operations Management Area Group and former PhD Program Director at the Ivey Business School. He earned a degree in mining engineering from the University of Alberta, an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and his doctorate from the Harvard Business School.
Leenders has written a number of articles in a variety of magazines and journals. His textbooks appear in ten languages. In the supply area, the texts he has authored/co-authored include Value-Driven Purchasing: Managing the Key Steps in the Acquisition Process, Reverse Marketing: The New Buyer-Supplier Relationship, Improving Purchasing Effectiveness Through Supplier Development, and Purchasing and Supply Management. His three books relating to the case method include Writing Cases, Teaching with Cases and Learning with Cases. He has taught and consulted extensively both in Canada and internationally. He received PMAC's Fellowship Award in 1975 and in 1993 became the first holder of the PMAC endowed chair in purchasing management at the Ivey Business School.
Professors Leenders and James A. Erskine also conduct case method workshops around the world.
He has founded six small companies and is a director of ING Bank of Canada.
- BSc, Alberta
- MBA, UWO
- DBA, Harvard
Recent Refereed Articles
Johnson, P. F.; Shafiq, A.; Awaysheh, A.; Leenders, M. R., 2014, "Large Supply Organizations in North America: A Twenty-Four Year Perspective on Roles and Responsibilities 1987-2011", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, June 20(2): 130 - 141. Abstract: The recent completion of a major survey of 249 large North American supply organizations in 2011 permits a longitudinal perspective on supply roles and responsibilities over a 24 year period. The latest survey complements three earlier CAPS studies in 1987, 1995 and 2003, thereby providing a valuable opportunity to examine trends and changes over time. Data was collected from 112 firms that responded in 2003 and 2011, which included 53 firms that responded in 1995, 2003 and 2011 and 24 firms that responded to all four surveys. Major areas of investigation included supply organizational structure, purchase category and supply chain responsibilities, supply involvement in major corporate activities, teams, and CPO reporting line, title and background. Findings indicate that the pace of organizational change remains high, which can represent significant challenges for supply executives. Cluster analysis was used to assess the relationship between supply organizational changes and firm performance. Firms in the underperforming category more frequently changed their supply organizational structure, and these changes were more likely directed towards greater centralization, compared to the growing and profitable clusters. Findings provide important implications for supply executives and opportunities for future research are also identified.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2010, "Minding the supply savings gaps", MIT Sloan Management Review, December 51(2): 25 - 31. Abstract: For most companies, the single largest cost category is the total spend with suppliers. However, figuring out how to identify the best areas for supply savings - and then how to measure and report them presents major challenges. Both understatement and overstatement of supply savings gaps signal the wrong reality, leading to an overemphasis on low-yielding cost saving initiatives, misdirected corporate resources and employees being rewarded for the wrong behavior. Moreover, supply savings gaps conceal the strategic contribution Suppliers can provide. In studying the supply management practices at 30 large North American and European companies, the authors identified a variety of measurement and reporting practices for supply savings. They conclude that correct measurement Of Supply savings is almost impossible and that there are frequently gaps between reported savings and reality. They explore why gaps exist, what practices lead to under and overstatement of savings, the consequences of poor supply savings measurement and what can be done to recognize supply savings gaps. To overcome the measurement and reporting challenges, the authors recommend that executives do three things: Focus on the total cost of ownership categorize the different types of savings and hardwire savings to the budget.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2009, "Changes in Supply Leadership", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, March 15(1): 51 - 62. Abstract: The chief purchasing officer (CPO) plays a critical role in ensuring the supply function contributes effectively to organizational goals and strategies. Furthermore, the executive in the organization to whom the CPO reports, the executive report (ER), plays a vital role in breaking down corporate roadblocks, setting priorities and ensuring the proper profile for supply within the organization. This research focuses on supply leadership changes in which an incumbent CPO is replaced andor the CPO reporting line is changed. Using a case-based methodology in 30 large North American and European organizations a total of 41 CPO replacements and 43 reporting line changes were documented. Data collection and analysis covered drivers, CPO background, key decision makers and tenure for both the outgoing and incoming CPOs and reporting line. The potential implications of these research findings for supply executives are discussed along with opportunities for future research.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2008, "Building a Corporate Supply Function", Journal of Supply Chain Management, July 44(3): 39 - 52. Abstract: The chief purchasing officer (CPO) plays a critical role in ensuring supply contributes effectively to organizational goals and strategies. The selection of the individual who will become the company's first CPO is especially important. A reporting line establishment occurs at the same time as an appointment of a first CPO when a large organization centralizes a previously decentralized supply function. Using case-based methodology, this research in large North American and European organizations examined 26 appointments of the first CPO and corresponding reporting line establishments. Data collection and analysis covered six aspects: drivers, CPO background, reporting line, the key decision makers and influencers involved in the decision, tenure of the first CPO and tenure of the first reporting line. It was found that changes in corporate strategy accounted for nearly 80 percent of the first CPO appointments and the CEO had a major say in decisions related to who would be hired as the first CPO as well as his or her reporting line. Almost 30 percent of internally recruited CPOs did not have any supply experience. However, externally recruited CPOs always had supply experience, but did not necessarily come from a CPO position. The CPOs reported to a variety of different positions, with the CEO and VP shared services being the most popular. The average tenure for the first CPO was more than one year longer than his or her reporting line. The potential implications for supply executives are explored. Opportunities for future research are also identified.
Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D.; Leenders, M. R.; Awaysheh, A., 2007, "Selection of Planned Supply Initiatives: The Role of Senior Management Expertise", International Journal of Operations and Production Management, December 27(12): 1280 - 1302. Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to assess the selection of planned supply initiatives and the role of senior management expertise. The drivers that influence the selection of particular supply initiatives by firms are of major interest to both practitioners and academics, as choices indicate priorities for resources, potential performance gaps and needs for future research. Moreover, theory indicates that senior management expertise and firm-level resources might influence the likelihood of selecting particular initiatives. Designmethodologyapproach - A synthesis of the literature supported the development of a five-dimensional framework of major supply initiatives. Logistic regression was conducted with data from a survey of chief purchasing officers at large North American firms. The impact of firm-level resources and senior management expertise, including background and experience, was assessed for the selection of supply initiatives. Findings - After controlling for general industry-level factors, both firm resources and senior management expertise were found to systematically affect the likelihood of a firm planning to pursue particular initiatives. First, hiring senior management from outside the firm decreased the likelihood that network-based initiatives were planned, while senior management who last worked in supply were found to be negatively related to planned supply strategy initiatives. Second, firms with greater use of e-business technologies favored additional investment in supply networks. Research limitationsimplications - This research focused on large firms in developed countries, and additional research is needed to explore the generalizability to small and medium-sized enterprises and less-developed countries. Moreover, additional work is needed to explore trade-offs between planned and emergent initiatives, as only the former were empirically assessed. Originalityvalue - Senior management expertise has received relatively little attention in prior research, yet was found to be a significant factor influencing strategic, process and network-related supply initiatives. Moreover, the framework of supply initiatives provides a basis for assessing and benchmarking firm-level supply chain strategy and investment patterns. Finally, empirical evidence emerged that both firm and individual-level factors influenced the probability of selecting particular initiatives.
Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D.; Leenders, M. R.; Awaysheh, A., 2007, "Utilizing E-Business Technologies in Supply Chains: The Impact of Firm Characteristics and Teams", Journal of Operations Management, December 25(6): 1255 - 1274. Abstract: This paper presents findings from an exploratory study that analyzes the drivers and outcomes of e-business technology use in the supply chain. Using a combination of case studies and survey data from a diverse sample of industries, the research examines how industry context, firm characteristics and firm-level strategic resources, such as purchasing teams, influence the exploitation of e-business technologies and the relationship between e-business technology use and firm performance. Based on a synthesis of related literatures from transaction cost economics and the relational view of the supply chain, a two-dimensional framework for e-business technology is proposed with transactional and relational dimensions. However, empirical analysis indicated that transactional technologies can be further subdivided into two factors: dyadic cooperation and price determination. Significant differences were found between the two dimensions in terms of their overall levels of adoption, with dyadic coordination being the most widely adopted. In addition, the development of strategic resources expanded, in particular internal and customer teams, the use of e-business technologies expanded. Purchasing organizational structure and firm size also were positively related to the adoption of transactional e-business technologies. Finally, of particular importance to practitioners, e-business technologies targeted at reducing dyadic coordination costs lead to improved financial performance.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2006, "A Longitudinal Study of Supply Organizational Change", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, December 12: 332 - 342. Abstract: This research examines the high level of change in supply organizations of large North American companies using data collected from 51 large North American supply organizations in 1987, 1995 and 2003. Analysis is supplemented by an additional 55 companies for which data were collected in 1995 and 2003. The availability of longitudinal data from individual companies over a 16-year period provided a unique opportunity to trace changes made to each company’s supply organizational structure and their roles and responsibilities. Findings suggest that the respondents made major changes in supply organizational structure, supply chain responsibilities.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R.; Fearon, H. E., 2006, "Supply's Growing Status and Influence: A Sixteen Year Perspective", Journal of Supply Chain Management, April 42(2): 33 - 43. Abstract: The recent completion of a major survey of large North American supply organizations in 2003 permits a longitudinal perspective on supply roles and responsibilities over a 16-year period. The latest survey complements two earlier studies in 1987 and 1995. All three surveys counted at least 280 responding large North American supply organizations, thereby providing a valuable opportunity to examine trends and changes over time. Major areas of investigation for respondents in both the manufacturing and services sectors include supply organizational structure, supply chain responsibilities, and chief purchasing officer (CPO) reporting line, title and background. This research provides solid evidence that in both manufacturing and services, today's CPOs have greater responsibilities, report higher in the organization and carry more significant titles than their predecessors. The conclusion is that, at least in large North American companies, supply has grown substantially in corporate status and influence since 1987, a particularly welcome discovery.
- Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2004, "Implementing Organizational Change in Supply Towards Decentralization", Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, December 10(4-5): 191 - 200.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2003, "Gaining and Losing Pieces of the Supply Chain", Journal of Supply Chain Management, January 39(1): 27 - 39. Abstract: This research focused on changes in supply chain responsibilities. The primary research question was: What are the reasons (drivers) for major changes in supply chain responsibilities? Over 200 such changes, comprising 158 additions and 44 deletions, were documented in the research. The findings are based on 10 case studies in large multi-business unit companies, seven headquartered in the United States and three in Europe, representing a variety of industries. Findings indicated three drivers of change for supply chain responsibilities. The chief purchasing officer and his or her staff members had a great deal of influence, particularly in additions to category 1 (acquisition of specific organizational needs) and category 2 (activities within the total supply chain).
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R.; McCue, C. P., 2003, "A Comparison of Purchasing's Organizational Roles and Responsibilities in the Public and Private Sector", Journal of Public Procurement, January 3(1): 57 - 74. Abstract: This research focuses on a comparison of public and private sector supply organizations in terms of organizational structure, supply chain responsibilities, the chief purchasing officer (CPO) and reporting line, teaming and involvement in major organizational activities. A unique opportunity to identify similarities and differences was presented in 2000 when the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing Research (NIGP) and Florida Atlantic University replicated in the public sector a study that the Center for Advanced Purchasing Studies (CAPS) conducted in the private sector in 1995. Significant differences and similarities are identified and are discussed in this paper.
Johnson, P. F.; Klassen, R. D.; Leenders, M. R.; Fearon, H. E., 2002, "Determinants of Purchasing Team Usage in the Supply Chain", Journal of Operations Management, January 20(1): 77 - 89. Abstract: Increased attention on supply chain management has highlighted the pivotal role that supply chain management and purchasing teams can play in the overall competitiveness of many firms. This paper presents findings from an exploratory study that analyzes the impact of purchasing's strategic role, industry context and purchasing organizational structure, on the use of various forms of purchasing teams. Using survey data from a broad sample of industries, we found that team usage was a two dimensional construct: internal teams and councils, and customer teams. In addition, purchasing's strategic role comprised two factors: product and technology planning, and external systems planning. After controlling for firm size, purchasing's strategic role was positively related to the greater use of internal teams and councils, but not customer teams. Industry context also played a role in the usage of teams, with internal teams and councils more extensively used by the firms that manufactured discrete goods. Meanwhile, firms in the service sector favored the use of customer teams. Finally, both industry context and purchasing's organizational structure were related to the strategic role assumed by purchasing, with a decentralized structure tending to reduce that strategic role.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R., 2001, "The Supply Organizational Structure Dilemma", Journal of Supply Chain Management, January 37(3): 2 - 11. Abstract: This paper presents the findings of research into how and why large, multi-unit firms make major changes to the organizational structure of the supply function. The research used case-based methodology to investigate ten large companies that had recently made a major supply structure change. A total of 15 major supply organizational changes were studied at the ten sites. The research found that these major changes were a result of changes in the overall corporate structure, challenging the conventional view found in standard purchasing texts that supply executives have flexibility in matters of organizational design. The research identified that a common driver for corporate organizational change in each of the sites studied involved an attempt by the company to improve its cost structure. CFOs, business unit managers, consultants and CPOs were all identified as having involvement in the supply organizational structure change process at some sites. A principal challenge for CPOs is to understand how to provide supply improvement opportunities under any organizational structure.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R.; Fearon, H. E., 1999, "The Chief Purchasing Officer: Previous Background and Experience", European Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, January 5(2): 95 - 101. Abstract: This paper uses data from the 1988 and 1995 CAPS studies on purchasing's organisational roles and responsibilities to investigate the percentage of respondents that hired their chief purchasing officer (CPO) from outside the organisation. In doing so, this research compares the attributes of internal and external CPOs in the areas of previous work experience and education, and analyses the impact of CPO origin on the supply function in terms of involvement in major corporate activities, span of control, reporting line, title Rand the use of team-based purchasing techniques. The research findings indicate that one in five companies in this study chose to hire their CPO from outside the organisation and significant differences existed between internal and external CPOs with respect to their previous work experience, number of years in the position, and age. The smaller companies tended to hire CPOs from outside more frequently than the larger companies.
Johnson, P. F.; Leenders, M. R.; Fearon, H. E., 1998, "The Influence of Organizational Factors on Purchasing Activities", International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, January 34(3): 10 - 19. Abstract: Data from the 1995 CAPS study on purchasing's organizational roles and responsibilities were used to examine the involvement of the supply area in major corporate activities, use of team-based purchasing techniques, and funcitons that report to purchasing. A number of organizational factors were found to influence the role of purchasing within the firm, including status and related work experience of the chief purchasing officer (CPO), and the degree to which the supply area was centralized. Overall, respondents indicated that purchasing had a low level of involvement in major corporate activities, despite previous research that demonstrated the value of the supply function as a competitive weapon. It is found that a surprisingly large number of firms appointed individuals lacking prior purchasing experience to the position of CPO.
- Director Ivey Purchasing Managers Index (1998-present)
- 2003-2009 Leenders Purchasing Management Association of Canada Chair (2003-2009)
- PMAC Chair, Purchasing Management, U.W.O., Ivey Business School (1993-2002)
- Full Professor, Ivey Business School, U.W.O. (1972-1993)
- Associate Professor, Ivey Business School, U.W.O. (1966-1972)
- Assistant Professor, Ivey Business School, U.W.O. (1963-1966)
- Harvard Business School, Harvard, Doctoral Program (on leave of absence, 1961-1963)
- Lecturer, Ivey Business School, U.W.O. (1960-1961)
- Instructor, Ivey Business School, U.W.O. (1959-1960)