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New roles for purchasing: researchers, detectives, teachers, doctors and architects

J. Gordon Murray (Institute of Public Finance, Lisburn, Northern Ireland, UK and University of Ulster, Jordanstown, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 July 2002



Delivering best value for money is accepted as the primary UK public sector purchasing objective and indeed a statutory duty for many in sub‐central government. An investigation of a purchasing unit was carried out which aimed to establish how it sought to achieve best value for money. The investigation reflected a spectrum of five roles that purchasing have taken as “process” experts to assist in the achievement of best value for money, namely, researchers, detectives, teachers, doctors, and architects. The conclusion is that these roles represent a model that can be applied, regardless of sector, by professional purchasing managers as they seek to contribute, in a “hard core/soft core” purchasing structure, to the strategic objectives of their organisation. The paper should be of specific interest to those in the public sector undergoing structural or best value reviews of their purchasing function, seeking to compare and challenge existing approaches.



Gordon Murray, J. (2002), "New roles for purchasing: researchers, detectives, teachers, doctors and architects", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 307-315.




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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