Africa as a Sourcing Location: Literature Review and Implications

Nnamdi Oguji, Richard Owusu

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

13 Citaten (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to explore the scope of sourcing research in Sub-Sahara African (SSA) from scholarly journals published from 1980 to 2013 on sourcing-related issues. The study identifies what is known about sourcing from this region and the implications for managers and researchers in supply chain management.

Totally, 40 scholarly journals (supply chain journals and other journals publishing on diverse business topics) were found relevant and reviewed. Content (all field) search using the names of each SSA countries (e.g. Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, etc.) was carried out in the supply chain journals to filter out articles discussing sourcing-related topics. For other business journals, keyword search was performed (procurement, sourcing, purchasing, outsourcing, supplier relations, supplier selection, supplier development, supply management, offshore, supply chain and logistics).

The literature review suggests that studies discussing sourcing issues in SSA have focussed mainly on challenges of sourcing from SSA, and they provide some insights on implementation of supply chain tools such as total quality management, negotiating and selecting suppliers from SSA, and just-in time purchasing. However, the authors found that there is an under-representation of this region in supply chain management literature. More so, the articles discussing sourcing issues in Africa are limited in scope empirically and theoretically in comparison with the large amount of contributions in other emerging economies of Asia and developed economies.

Research limitations/implications
The limited amount of publications and contributions does not allow us to provide an integrated framework for sourcing from SSA.

Practical implications
There is a need for future research to explore how the SSA context could enhance theorizing in supply chains. Also, there is need for researchers to extend the sourcing debate from the over emphasis on technology sourcing, knowledge intensive service outsourcing and component sourcing to other lower value-added products such as agricultural products and other raw materials sourced in SSA.

This paper is one of the first to explore the scope of sourcing in Africa. As the findings suggest, there have been limited amount of papers published about this region. The review provides a perspective for researchers to explore this region and to aid theory development in supply chains. It also provided implications on how to support research publication focusing on this region and how to inform managerial perceptions on sourcing from SSA.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)424-438
Aantal pagina's14
TijdschriftInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - 15-jul.-2014
Extern gepubliceerdJa

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