A recent trend in procurement recruitment has been the desire to hire candidates with ‘general business skills’, in addition to their purchasing expertise, to improve stakeholder relations and management.
But a study by conducted by Cass Business School
suggests it is those specific skills make you a better leader – providing that’s what your company does.
The academics looked at the results of 18,000 Formula 1 races over the past 60 years, and found those teams led by former drivers or mechanics won twice as many races as those led by professional managers or degree-level engineers.
Amanda Goodall, a visiting fellow at Cass, said: "Over the past three decades, managerialism has become pervasive. Major blue-chip firms have shifted away from hiring CEOs with technical expertise, towards the selection of professional managers and generalists.
“The swing of the pendulum has gone too far - leaders should first be experts in the core business of their organisations, whether they are bankers, hospital administrators, restaurateurs or technology innovators. Being a capable general manager alone is not sufficient."
So if the core business of an organisation is buying, it should perhaps be looking at the purchasing function for its next leader.