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Sustainable and international

Dr. Nnamdi Oguji of KONE Corporation Finland gives week of lectures on International Sourcing

By Franziska Baer & Sven Rottner

Which negotiation strategies are particularly effective in international materials purchasing? What opportunities open up for companies that make international purchasing as sustainable as possible? Students in the MSc International Business Development and MSc International Accounting, Controlling and Taxation programmes dealt with these questions during a one-week intensive series of lectures. In keeping with the topic, the week was particularly international in scope - it was held by Dr. Nnamdi Oguji from Finland’s KONE Corporation. Among the activities, she guided the students through group work in which they developed solutions for internationally operating companies.

During the lecture, the students learned about various topics relating to international purchasing. They dealt, for example, with procurement concepts and strategies as well as with the advantages and disadvantages of international purchasing. Dr. Oguji also pointed to current trends in international purchasing which are intensified by crises and imponderables.

One focus of the lecture series was the successful cooperation of companies with international suppliers. In this context, the students highlighted development potentials and difficulties that arise when companies are designing sustainable international supply chains. In particular, checking whether certain corporate standards are being adhered to often poses challenges.

The intensive week of lectures also included a guest lecture on the topic of "Sourcing in Africa" by John-Paul Iwuoha, CEO of Smallstarter Africa. This gave the students an insight into the special role of Africa for international sourcing, and which strategic steps are necessary to be successful in Africa.

In a practice-oriented lecture, the students further developed their presentation and negotiation skills. In the course of a negotiation game, they put themselves into various roles and thus tested different negotiation strategies. They also worked in groups to develop solutions for international corporate procurement. They then presented these concepts to Dr. Oguji and their fellow students.

The response to the lecture week was consistently positive. Franziska Baer, a student in the MSc International Business Development programme, emphasizes the practical experience of the format: "The week of lectures gave me a new and highly practical understanding of sourcing - a unique experience that you rarely get."