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

Chris Lonsdale is Professor in Procurement and Supply Management. He has been at the Business School for nearly 30 years, during which time he has published widely in the management area, worked extensively with major organisations such as IBM, Rolls-Royce plc, NHS and Molson Coors and taught on degree programmes at all levels. His key interests are within the area of procurement and supply, including procurement as a profession, procurement strategy and social value via procurement. His external work with organisations assists managers organise procurement activity within the firm and develop procurement strategies.


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, Programme Director of the UG Business Management degrees and 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 (2014 to date), Department for Education and Skills, the Department of Health / various NHS organisations (2001-2015), IBM (1998-2007), BP Exploration, Novelis AG, Interbrew and Molson Coors (2021 to date).  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 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


Recent publications


Lonsdale, C, Sanderson, J & Esfahbodi, A 2024, 'Good Team Players? The Impact of Team Member Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities on Sourcing Teamwork and Sourcing Task-Work Effectiveness', Supply Chain Management: An International Journal.

Lonsdale, C & Le Mesurier, N 2024, 'Learning to do good: developing capabilities to deliver social value from public procurement within English public authorities', International Journal of Public Sector Management.

Sanderson, J, Esfahbodi, A & Lonsdale, C 2022, 'The effect of team-member knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) and a common learning experience on sourcing teamwork effectiveness', International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 52, no. 5-6, pp. 393-413.

Kirkpatrick, I, Hoque, K & Lonsdale, C 2019, 'Client organizations and the management of professional agency work: the case of English health and social care', Human Resource Management, vol. 58, no. 1, pp. 71-84.

Lawrence, J, Lonsdale, C & 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.

Lonsdale, C, Hoque, K, Kirkpatrick, I & Sanderson, J 2017, 'Knowing the price of everything? Exploring the impact of increased procurement professional involvement on management consultancy purchasing', Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 65, pp. 157-167.

Lonsdale, C, Sanderson, J, Watson, G & Peng, F 2016, 'Beyond intentional trust: supplier opportunism and management control mechanisms in public sector procurement and contracting', Policy and politics, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 289-311.

Sanderson, J, Lonsdale, C, Mannion, R & 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, vol. 3, no. 18, pp. 1-134.

Watson, G, Chicksand, D & Lonsdale, C 2013, 'The Micro-Politics of Operational Adjustment: Veto Players and the Consolidation of Demand in the NHS', Production Planning & Control, vol. 24, no. 10-11, pp. 948-961.

Kirkpatrick, I, De Ruyter, A, Hoque, K & Lonsdale, C 2011, ''Practising what they preach'? The disconnect between the state as regulator and user of employment agencies', International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 22, no. 18, pp. 3711-3726.

Hoque, K, Kirkpatrick, I, Lonsdale, C & De Ruyter, A 2011, 'Outsourcing the procurement of agency workers: the impact of vendor managed services in English social care', Work, Employment & Society, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 522-539.


Kirkpatrick, I & Lonsdale, C 2016, The Use of Management Consultancy in the English National Health Service. in E Ferlie, K Montgomery & AR Pedersen (eds), Oxford Handbook of Health Care Management. Oxford University Press.

Lonsdale, C 2012, Procurement and Market Management. in Commissioning for Health and Well-Being. The Policy Press.


Sanderson, J, Lonsdale, C & Mannion, R 2019, 'Inside the black box: Organisational buying behaviour and strategic purchasing in healthcare: A response to recent commentary', International Journal of Health Policy and Management , vol. 8, no. 11, pp. 675-677.

Review article

Sanderson, J, Lonsdale, C & 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, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 4-17.,,

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.