Human resource development for inclusive procurement by intermediation: a situated learning theory application.
Recent thinking in academic and policy making circles puts forward the idea that ethnic minority businesses need to escape from their disadvantageous sectoral concentration through diversification into higher value-added activities. Drawing on the US experience, it has been suggested that intermediation initiatives that promote the concept of supplier diversity hold a great promise. Such initiatives are concerned with developing and bringing together corporate procurement officials (CPO) of large organisations and ethnic minority business owner-managers (EMBOs), so that the two parties can engage meaningfully. Yet, in the UK such initiatives are still at an early stage of development and there is little detailed evidence of their modus operandi or effectiveness. Hence, the main aim of this article is to demonstrate how nurturing and facilitating the interaction of communities of practice of CPOs and EMBOs can help their professional development and their approaches to procuring and supplying respectively. Situated learning theory is used to this effect, contributing to the debate around its usefulness and on the constructability and performative advantages of communities of practice. The paper reports on the researchers’ experience with two projects relating to intermediation initiatives that brought together and developed CPOs of large organisations and EMBOs. The lessons drawn would be useful for intermediary organisations, large procurers and minority suppliers who are willing to engage with the concept of supplier diversity.
Citation : Theodorakopoulos, N., Ram, M. and Beckinsale, M. (2013) Human resource development for inclusive procurement by intermediation: a situated learning theory application. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24 (12), pp. 2321-2338
Research Institute : Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes