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A gathering storm: re‐tendering and the voluntary sector workforce

Ian Cunningham (Department of Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)
Dennis Nickson (Department of Human Resource Management, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 4 October 2011




This paper aims to consider the impact of the European Union procurement regulations. It assesses the impact of the re‐tendering of services on the terms and conditions of employment and sense of well being, and commitment of employees in the social care sub‐sector of the voluntary sector.


The study employs a qualitative study of three organisations utilising semi‐structured interviews with managers and employees.


The process of re‐tendering is creating intensified competition and the breakdown of co‐operation between voluntary sector organisations. Re‐tendering also has an impact on employee terms and conditions with related problems arising with regard to their morale and commitment.

Research limitations/implications

This remains a relatively small‐scale piece of research and there is also scope to consider how these issues are played out in private, as well as voluntary sector organisations.

Practical implications

The research highlights the potential tensions between creating greater competition and a search for value for money in the tendering and re‐tendering of services on voluntary organisations' raison d'être and the sense of commitment of employees.


There is little research examining the human resource aspects of re‐tendering and this research provides an important step in surfacing a number of emergent issues for how voluntary organisations manage the people dimension of the re‐tendering process.



Cunningham, I. and Nickson, D. (2011), "A gathering storm: re‐tendering and the voluntary sector workforce", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 24 No. 7, pp. 662-672.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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