Professor Chris Lonsdale

Professor Chris Lonsdale

Department of Management
Professor of Procurement and Supply Management

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
Room 217, Margery Fry Building
B15 2TT


BA, PhD, FCIPS (Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply)


Chris started his academic career in 1992 as a teaching assistant at the Department of Politics, The University of Hull. In 1993, he moved to The University of Birmingham to be a teaching assistant in both INLOGOV and POLSIS. In 1994, he moved to the Business School to take up a research post and since that time has resided in the Procurement and Operations Management Group. He received his PhD in 1995 for work into the private equity market.

In 1999, Chris became a lecturer in the Business School, becoming Senior Lecturer in 2005, Reader in 2011 and a Professor in 2020. Since 1999, he has been Programme Director of the MBA in Strategy and Procurement Management, Head of the Procurement and Operations Management Group and Programme Director of the UG Business Management degrees. He is currently Director of Research for the Department of Management.

In 2008, he was awarded honorary fellowship of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, FCIPS; in 2012, he won the University / Guild Outstanding Personal Tutor Award; and his 2014 to date research-informed and 4* rated impact work (with Joe Sanderson) with Rolls-Royce plc has been nominated for a succession of awards by both the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Management and the University, winning the College of Social Science prize in 2017 and receiving a commendation in the University’s Impact Awards in 2018.

Over the years, Chris has worked with a number of public and private sector organisations including the aforementioned Rolls-Royce plc, Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Health / various NHS organisations (2001 to date), IBM (1998-2007), BP Exploration, Novelis AG and Interbrew.  He is also a long-standing lecturer on the Business School's Executive MBA programmes and the Health Service Management Centre's Executive MSc programmes.

Chris has also been successful in attracting research funding. In 2001, he was the joint-recipient of a £338,000 EPSRC grant for research into buyer-supplier relationships. In 2002, he was the joint-recipient of a £75,041 contract with the Oxford Radcliffe NHS Hospital Trust for research into organisational buying behaviour. In 2007, he was the joint-recipient of an £99,901 ESRC grant for research into temporary employment in the UK public sector. In 2010, he was the joint-recipient of an EREBUS CASE studentship concerning public sector procurement. In 2013, he was the joint-recipient of a £90,460 NHS NIHR grant for research into NHS commissioning.

All of these research projects have yielded a high number of publications (see list below), many in internationally leading journals such as Public Administration, the British Journal of Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management and Work, Employment and Society. Chris has also contributed to studies undertaken by the National Audit Office and the Treasury Select Committee.

Chris's current research activities focus upon procurement’s professionalization project, social value procurement, procurement and make/buy within the aerospace sector and the development of trustworthiness within buyer-supplier relationships. Chris also retains an interest in political science, with a particular focus upon the politics of state-finance relations and modern political philosophy.


UG Year 2 - Managing within Business to Business Markets 

MSc Management – Value Chains, Outsourcing and Procurement

MBA - Strategic Procurement and Supplier Management

MBA Executive - Strategic Procurement and Supplier Management

Postgraduate supervision

Purchasing / internal client relationships

Supplier relationship and contract management

Public sector procurement, including PPP

Trust and opportunism in buyer-supplier relationships



Procurement and Operations Management


Refereed Journal Articles


Sanderson, J., Lonsdale, C. and Mannion, R. (2019) ‘What’s Needed to Develop Strategic Purchasing in Healthcare? Policy Lessons from a Realist Review’, International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 8 (1), pp4-17.

Kirkpatrick, I., Hoque, K., and Lonsdale, C. (2019) ‘The Role of Client Organizations in the Human Resource Management of Agency Workers: The Case of English Health and Social Care Services’, Human Resource Management, 58 (1), pp71-84.

Lawrence, J., Lonsdale, C. and Le Mesurier, N. (2018) ‘Access Denied? Exploring the Causes of the Low Representation of Women in Senior Executive Positions within Procurement’, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 24 (4), 304-313.

Lonsdale, C., Hoque, K., Kirkpatrick, I. and Sanderson, J. (2017) ‘Knowing the Price of Everything? Exploring the Impact of Increased Procurement Professional Involvement on Management Consultancy Purchasing’, Industrial Marketing Management, 65, pp157-167.

Lonsdale, C., Watson, G., Peng, F. and Sanderson, J. (2016) ‘Beyond Intentional Trust: Supplier Opportunism and Management Control Mechanisms in Public Sector Procurement and Contracting’, Policy and Politics, 44 (2), pp289-311.

Sanderson, J., Lonsdale, C., Mannion, R. and Matharu, T. (2015) ‘Towards a Framework for Enhancing Procurement and Supply Chain Management Practice in the NHS: Lessons for Managers and Clinicians from a Synthesis of the Theoretical and Empirical Literature’, Health Services and Delivery Research, 3 (18).

Watson, G., Chicksand, D. and Lonsdale, C. (2013) ‘The Micro-Politics of Operational Adjustment: Veto Players and the Consolidation of Demand in the NHS’, Production Planning and Control, 24 (10/11), pp948-961.

Kirkpatrick, I., De Ruyter, A., Hoque, K. and Lonsdale, C. (2011) ‘Practising what they Preach? The Disconnect Between the State as User and the State as Regulator of Employment Agencies’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22 (18), pp.3711-3726.

Hoque, K., Kirkpatrick, I., Lonsdale, C. and De Ruyter, A. (2011) ‘Outsourcing the Procurement of Agency Workers: The Impact of Vendor Managed Services in English Social Care’, Work, Employment and Society, 25 (3), pp522-539.

Lonsdale, C., Hoque, K., Kirkpatrick, I. and De Ruyter, A. (2010) ‘Supplier Behaviour and Public Contracting in the English National Health Service’, Public Administration, 88 (3), pp800-818.

Hoque, K., Kirkpatrick, I., De Ruyter, A. and Lonsdale, C. (2008) ‘New Contractual Relationships in the Market for Agency Workers: The Case of the UK’s National Health Service’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, 46 (3), pp389-412.

De Ruyter, A., Kirkpatrick, I., Hoque, K., Lonsdale, C. and Malan, J. (2008) ‘Agency Working and the Degradation of Public Service Employment: The Cases of Nurses and Social Workers’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19 (3), pp432-445.

Lonsdale, C. and Watson, G. (2007) ‘Managing Contracts under the UK’s Private Finance Initiative: Evidence from the National HealthService’, Policy and Politics, 35 (4), pp683-700.

Lonsdale, C. (2007) ‘Review Article: The Challenge of Public-Private Partnerships’, Local Government Studies, 33 (2), pp313-321.

Lonsdale, C. and Watson, G. (2005) ‘The Internal Client Relationship, Demand Management and Value for Money: Evidence from the UK National Health Service’, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, 11 (4), pp159-172.

Lonsdale, C. (2005) ‘Contractual Uncertainty, Power and Public Contracting’, Journal of Public Policy, 25 (2), pp219-240.

Cox, A., Lonsdale, C., Watson, G. and Wu, Y. (2005) ‘Supplier Relationship Management as an Investment: Evidence from a UK Study’, Journal of General Management, 30 (4), pp27-42.

Lonsdale, C. (2005) ‘Post-contractual Lock-in and the UK Private Finance Initiative: The Cases of National Savings and Investments and the Lord Chancellor’s Department’, Public Administration, 83 (1), pp67-88.

Lonsdale, C. (2005) ‘Risk Transfer and the UK Private Finance Initiative: A Theoretical Analysis’, Policy and Politics, 33 (2), pp231-249.

Lonsdale, C. (2004) ‘Player Power: Capturing Value in the English Football Supply Network’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 9 (5), pp383-391.

Cox, A., Watson, G., Lonsdale, C. and Sanderson, J. (2004) ‘Managing Appropriately within Supply Chain Power Regimes: Evidence from a UK Study’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 9 (5), pp357-371.

Cox, A., Lonsdale, C., Watson, G. and Qiao, H. (2003) ‘Supplier Relationship Management: A Framework for Understanding Managerial Capacity and Constraints’, European Business Journal, 15 (3), pp135-145.

Lonsdale, C. (2001) ‘Locked-in to Supplier Dominance: On the Dangers of Asset Specificity for the Outsourcing Decision’, Journal of Supply Chain Management, 37 (2), pp22-27.

Lonsdale, C. and Cox, A. (2000) ‘The Historical Development of Outsourcing’, Industrial Management and Data Systems, 100 (9), pp444-450.

Lonsdale, C. (1999) ‘Effectively Managing Vertical Supply Relationships: A Risk Management Model for Outsourcing’, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 4 (4), pp176-183.

Book Publications – Research Monographs

Cox, A., Lonsdale, C. Sanderson, J. and Watson, G. (2005) The Right Tools for the Job: On the Use and Utility of Management Tools and Techniques, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 335pp.

Cox, A., Lonsdale, C., Sanderson, J. and Watson, G. (2004) Business Relationships for Competitive Advantage, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 246pp.

Cox, A., Ireland, P., Lonsdale, C., Sanderson, J. and Watson, G. (2002) Supply Chains, Markets and Power: Mapping Buyer and Supplier Power Regimes, London: Routledge, 268pp.

Lonsdale, C. (1997) The UK Equity Gap: The Failure of Government Policy Since 1945, Aldershot: Ashgate, 238pp.

Book Publications - Textbooks

Cox, A., Ireland, P., Lonsdale, C., Sanderson, J. and Watson, G. (2003) Supply Chain Management: A Guide to Best Practice, London: Financial Times Pearson, 120pp.

Lonsdale, C. and Cox, A. (1998) Outsourcing: A Business Guide to Risk Management Tools and Techniques, Boston: Earlsgate Press, 219pp.

Chapters in Edited Volumes

Lonsdale, C. (2016) ‘Supply Chains’, in Ritzer, G. (ed), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, 2nd edition, Oxford: Blackwell.

Kirkpatrick, I., Lonsdale, C. and Neogy, I. (2016) ‘The Use of Management Consultancy in the English National Health Service’, in Ferlie, E., Montgomery, K. and Pedersen, A. (eds), Oxford Handbook of Health Care Management, Oxford: OUP.

Lonsdale, C. (2012) ‘Procurement and Market Management’, in Glasby,J. (ed), Commissioning for Health and Well-Being, Bristol: The PolicyPress, pp85-110.

Watson, G., Lonsdale, C. and Sanderson, J. (2010) ‘Incentives and the Strategic Management of Suppliers’, in Waters, D. (ed), Global Logistics: New Directions in Supply Chain Management, 6th edition, London: Kogan Page, pp49-68.

Lonsdale, C. (2007) ‘Supply Chains’, in Ritzer, G. (ed), The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, Oxford: Blackwell, pp4890-4895.

Watson, G., Cox, A., Lonsdale, C. and Sanderson, J. (2007) ‘Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Power of Incentives’, in Waters, D. (ed), Global Logistics and Distribution Planning, 5th edition, London: Kogan Page, pp91-106.

Lonsdale, C. (2006) ‘Risk Management and Outsourcing’, in Barrar, P. and Gervais, R. (eds), Global Outsourcing Strategies, Farnham: Gower, pp221-230.

Cox, A., Lonsdale, C., Watson, G. and Farmery, R. (2003) ‘Collaboration and Competition: The Economics of Selecting Appropriate Governance Structures for Buyer-Supplier Relationships’, in Scott, C. and Thurston, W. (eds), Collaboration in Context, Calgary: The University of Calgary, pp115-228.

Watson, G., Cox, A., Lonsdale, C. and Sanderson, J. (2003) ‘Thinking Strategically about Supply Chain Management’, in Waters, D. (ed), Global Logistics and Distribution Planning, 4th edition, London: Kogan Page, pp104-116.

Lonsdale, C. (2002) ‘Outsourcing – Understanding and Managing Risk’, in Day, M. (ed), The Gower Handbook of Purchasing and Supply, Farnham: Gower, pp63-74.

Cox, A., Lonsdale, C. and Watson, G. (2001) ‘Beyond Core Competence Models: A Contingency Model for Effective Outsourcing Risk Management’ in Erridge, A. (ed), Perspectives in Public and Private Sector Procurement, Farnham: Gower, pp82-89.

Lonsdale, C. and Cox, A. (1998) ‘Strategic Outsourcing: Evidence on Business Practice and the Role of Procurement’, in Capaldo, G. et al (eds), Supply Management, Napoli: Edizioni Scientifiche Italiane, pp55-74.

Jordan, K., Meredith, M. and Lonsdale, C. (1997) ‘Towards Strategic Sourcing in the Public Sector: The Approach to Relationship Managementat the Employment Department’, in Cox, A. and Hines, P. (eds), Advanced Supply Management, Boston: Earlsgate Press, pp231-254.

View all publications in research portal


Buyer-supplier relationships – between two private sector organisations or between a public sector organisation and a private sector supplier


Make-buy/outsourcing decisions and procurement and contract management practice in both the public and private sectors in both the UK and beyond.