The public purchasing profession revisited

Stephen B. Gordon (Government of Nashville and Davidson County)
Stanley D. Zemansky (Retired City Purchasing Agenet, city of Baltimore)
Alex Sekwat (Tennessee State University)

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management

ISSN: 1096-3367

Publication date: 1 March 2000


This article revisits two vital questions largely ignored in the scholarly literature devoted to professionalism in government. First, is the public purchaser a professional? And second, is public purchasing a profession? Our reexamination of the first question led us to conclude that a public purchaser that meets certain requirements in government purchasing practices distinct from traits reserved for recognized traditional professions such as law, medicine and clergy can be a professional. Furthermore, when we analyzed the basic criteria that characterized a profession such as the existence of esoteric knowledge, rigorous formal training, codes of ethics, representative association, autonomy in practice, and criteria for admission into the occupation, we concluded that public purchasing is a profession.


Gordon, S.B., Zemansky, S.D. and Sekwat, A. (2000), "The public purchasing profession revisited", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 248-271.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000 by PrAcademics Press

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