Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Business - Interdisciplinary

First Advisor

Sime Curkovic

Second Advisor

Anthony Helms


indirect procurement, indirect spend, MRO, information technology outsourcing, e-procurement


Indirect procurement has largely been ignored in scholarly research due to only representing a small portion of a firm’s expenditures, and suffers from a confusing nomenclature that makes drawing conclusions difficult. However, indirect procurement is a diverse and crucial component of purchasing that allows for sustainable competitive advantages and reduced costs, if managed properly. By performing a keyword search in the ABI/INFORM database, we analyzed, consolidated, and summarized the current areas of research as it pertains to indirect procurement. We also identified suggested further areas of research, as educated by our previous analysis. We find that the majority of the current research has focused on Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) and Information Technology (IT) procurement. MRO purchasing was also found to have confusing nomenclature, as the term can be used to refer to two very different types of purchases. We make distinctions between these two types and consolidate research accordingly. For both MRO and IT research, we find that many papers focus on supplier relationship management, as well as the optimal degree of employee involvement for these types of purchases. While many papers stress the importance of properly managing indirect procurement suppliers and engaging all stakeholders in indirect purchasing decisions, few provide a successful framework for doing so.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access