The electronic auction is one of the most highly-promoted forms of B2B e-commerce. However, since the e-commerce bubble burst, the effectiveness of this tool is in question. This article looks at how electronic auctions can be affected by various trade-offs in sourcing strategy. Using the case of an auction by Philips, it is shown that firms still mostly have to deal with the same tensions. Even when auctions are used, regional sourcing strategies rather than global ones are the norm for most European firms. To be effective, electronic auctions should be used as part of a wider strategy, and appropriate selection criteria should be set up in advance.

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Keywords Business-to-business, Buyer-supplier relations, Electronic auctions, Sourcing strategy, Trade-offs
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Journal European Management Journal
van Tulder, R.J.M, & Mol, M. (2002). Reverse auctions or auctions reversed: First experiments by Philips. European Management Journal, 20(5), 447–456. doi:10.1016/S0263-2373(02)00099-3