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Public procurement of consulting services: Evidence and comparison with private companies

Filip Roodhooft (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven ‐ Belgium and Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, Leuven, Belgium)
Alexandra Van den Abbeele (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 1 August 2006

5483

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to shed light on the procurement process of consulting services within the public sector and to benchmark the obtained results with practices in the private sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A two‐stage research design has been used. First, in‐depth personal interviews were conducted with six users of consulting services. The second stage involved a cross‐sectional survey of purchasers of a broad range of business advisory services. This included private as well as public purchasers.

Findings

It was found that the procurement process of consulting services in the public sector differs significantly from that of private companies. Further analyses indicate that purchasers from public and private organizations are equally satisfied with the results of consulting services.

Research limitations/implications

The results of the study indicate that public sector organizations may need to develop new buying skills in market management, specification, competitive process, negotiation regulation and monitoring.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that a more high‐level management involvement is needed, recognizing the importance of the procurement function within the public sector and supporting highly trained staff in implementing strategic procurement initiatives.

Originality/value

The study provides unique insights on how consulting services are purchased in the public sector as well as in the private sector. Furthermore, the paper illustrates which purchase practices explain the satisfaction level of purchasers of consulting services.

Keywords

Citation

Roodhooft, F. and Van den Abbeele, A. (2006), "Public procurement of consulting services: Evidence and comparison with private companies", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 19 No. 5, pp. 490-512. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513550610677799

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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