18. Global Purchasing and Supply Management
Your assignment is both a research project and a writing assignment.
The end product is to be an article of 800 – 1,000 words (about two pages @ 1.5 line spacing and 12 pt. font) that would be suitable for publication in, say, a chapter newsletter of your professional association. The subject of the article is to be the story of Ignacio (“Inaki”) Lopez in his time at GM and VW, and more specifically what this story can teach us about PURCHASING and MANAGING SUPPLIERS RELATIONSHIPS. The story is a complex one, and has both strong positive and negative interpretations. One of the challenges is to find some sort of balance in what you report. In only two pages you will have to paint with a broad brush, so to speak, but you should be able to find some interesting takeaways.
I am not expecting great depth in the research – everything you need should be available on the web, but I do expect you to cite your sources. The name is a common one, so you will find lots of spurious material. Just to be sure we are talking about the same person, his full name was: Jose Ignacio Lopez de Arriortua. Since articles of the type you are writing do not typically have formal citations, I won’t ask for those, but you should keep a separate sheet with a list of your sources. You may collaborate with fellow students on the research, but the writing is to be your own.
The FIRST part of the assignment is to be an outline of what you intend to say in the article, breaking it down into blocks and listing your key points in point form. The purpose of this is to get the structure right before you start to wrap the words around the topics. If you do this part well, the article should more or less write itself.
Grading will be according to the following:
These case write-ups are given a letter grade based on four categories
1. Is this neat, professional work? Each document should stand alone in the sense that someone looking at it can see instantly what it is, who wrote it, when, etc. The layout and formatting should be visually clear with appropriate use of section headings and paragraph breaks. Spelling and grammar should be sufficiently good as to not distract from the message.
2. Do you make good use of evidence? I am trying to encourage evidence-based management here, so even if I agree with what you say, I will always be asking what evidence you have for saying it. This is where you establish the credibility of your work. Personal opinions are OK, but should be clearly identified as such.
3. Do you demonstrate insight? In a management report or presentation, insight is your value-add. Repeating facts doesn’t do it: you need to be selective about what facts you choose to emphasize and to enlighten the reader about the significance of their linkage. In this course, what I am primarily looking for is for you to apply the models and principles from the course to make sense of a case or situation. It is perfectly acceptable to use ideas from outside the course, but the onus is on you to make it clear what tools you are using. Be careful! Not all tools in the toolbox are needed for every job; the skill comes in selecting the right one(s). I typically have a “right” answer in mind, but there really are no absolutely right answers in this field, so I am firmly committed to being receptive to any logical argument. In other words, there is no value in guessing what answer I am expecting; the value is in what you gain by thinking about the issues and arriving at a conclusion you are comfortable with.
4. Do you tell a logical story? This is mostly about organization of thoughts and internal consistency. Your work will hopefully have a logical beginning, middle and end. The question is, when you get to the end, does the reader get there with you? A reader will get derailed if your evidence and analysis don’t support the conclusions you reach, so these need to be consistent. A reader will also get derailed if they feel that alternative interpretations were possible but were not considered. You don’t need to go overboard on ruling out alternatives, but there should be no obvious ones left hanging out there.
Each category will be given a letter grade and the overall grade will be an average of the four. Note that a profile of A, B, A, B could give a final grade of A- or B+, depending on whether the scores were high or low within their ranges.
Make sure to be detailed and organized as required while writing the assignment, because this teacher is picky and I don’t want to do a lot of revisions.
Please take into consideration that this is an UNDERGRADUATE Global Purchasing and Supply Management Class.
I’m shooting for an A in this assignment.
Avoid copying from outside sources, if so, please cite them, The instructor is very strict about plagiarism
I will upload the power points that we had in class. I’m not sure if it’s going to be helpful, but it will give an idea about the class and what the instructor wants.