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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Anthony Flynn

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between firm size, resources, capabilities and involvement in public procurement. While the liability of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between firm size, resources, capabilities and involvement in public procurement. While the liability of smallness has been a recurring theme in research into public sector suppliers, there remains a dearth of evidence and theorising on the effects of size.

Design/methodology/approach

A model linking firm size, resources, capabilities, tendering activity and performance is devised. Resource-based view theory informs the model. Survey data from over 3,000 firms active in the Irish public sector marketplace is used to test the model.

Findings

As hypothesised, firm size is positively associated with tendering resources and capabilities. Resources and capabilities, in turn, influence tendering activity and performance. Specifically, resources act as enablers for the number and value of contracts firms tender for while capabilities are important for winning contracts. The author also finds similarities between medium and large enterprises in their ability to tender.

Research limitations/implications

The treatment of tendering resources and capabilities is not exhaustive. Future research could include additional indicators of resources (e.g. external consultants, IT) and capabilities (e.g. production, process innovation).

Practical implications

Managers of micro and small suppliers should focus on augmenting their tendering capabilities as they lag bigger suppliers. Legislators need to re-assess current “one-size-fits-all” small and medium enterprise (SME) friendly policy as it is not sensitive to intra-SME differences.

Originality/value

This study introduces an important qualification into understanding of public sector suppliers by demonstrating that SME disadvantage is less black and white than shades of grey.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Anthony Flynn

The European Commission has begun to measure procurement performance in countries belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA). Performance is understood in terms of…

Abstract

Purpose

The European Commission has begun to measure procurement performance in countries belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA). Performance is understood in terms of practices designed to maximize value for money. The purpose of this paper is to report on the performance measurement system currently in use and what the European Commission’s own data tell us about contemporary procurement practices in EEA countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary data released by the European Commission is used to examine procurement performance across 30 EEA countries.

Findings

The best performing countries are from Scandinavia and the Benelux, along with Ireland, UK and Malta. Average performing countries include France and Germany. Below average performers include Italy, Spain and the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Originality/value

The paper highlights significant performance gaps in public procurement between EEA countries.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2019

Anthony Flynn

This paper aims to examine how firms react to the loss of a major government contract. Reactions to contract loss are yet to be properly studied in public procurement.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how firms react to the loss of a major government contract. Reactions to contract loss are yet to be properly studied in public procurement.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypothesis is that contract loss triggers a five-stage grieving process, as predicted by the Kubler-Ross model. The hypothesis is tested using the recent UK passport contract in which the British supplier, De La Rue, lost to the Franco-Dutch supplier, Gemalto. Secondary data from corporate publications, news reporting, parliamentary debates and trade union press releases is used to compile the case.

Findings

The findings show that De La Rue and its supporters passed through the five stages of grief in response to their loss. De La Rue initially exhibited denial by vowing to appeal the decision. Next came anger directed at the UK Government. An attempt to bargain was made during the standstill period. Depression set in after De La Rue admitted it would not appeal. Finally, acceptance was indicated by De La Rue pursuing new opportunities in the product authentication market.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a single case. Further case research is warranted to test the external validity of the results.

Practical implications

By debriefing unsuccessful bidders and listening to their viewpoint, public buyers can help to assuage the anger that accompanies contract loss.

Social implications

Elected representatives, the media and civic society groups have vested interests in the outcome of contract competitions. Moreover, they use their agency in pursuit of their own interests, whether through political bargaining, lobbying or editorials.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates that the Kubler-Ross model of grieving has utility for understanding reactions to loss in a public procurement context.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2019

Anthony Flynn

This paper aims to investigate the determinants of corporate compliance with the transparency in supply chains provision of the UK Modern Slavery Act. While recent…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the determinants of corporate compliance with the transparency in supply chains provision of the UK Modern Slavery Act. While recent scholarship has described what firms are doing to comply with this Act, no attempt has been made to explain their behaviour.

Design/methodology/approach

A predictive model of corporate compliance with modern slavery reporting is tested using secondary data from Financial Times Stock Exchange 350 firms. The model is informed by institutional theory and, in particular, by Oliver’s (1991) insights into the conditions under, which firms respond to institutional pressures.

Findings

Compliance with modern slavery reporting is found to be significantly related to firm size, prior social responsibility commitment, network involvement, industry and headquarter base (UK versus non-UK). Other predictors such as media exposure, shareholder concentration and profitability are found to be non-significant.

Research limitations/implications

The focus is on the 350 largest publicly listed companies in the UK. The stances that firms outside of this cohort are taking on modern slavery reporting still need to be investigated.

Practical implications

Compliance with the UK Modern Slavery Act varies by industry. Regulators should consider this as a part of risk profiling strategies and follow-up inspection of firms.

Originality/value

This paper provides the first theoretically grounded examination of the organisational and environmental factors that determine corporate compliance with modern slavery reporting.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 21 February 2020

Anthony Flynn and Helen Walker

Drawing on statements made under the transparency in supply chains provision of the UK Modern Slavery Act, this paper aims to examine how firms are responding to modern…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on statements made under the transparency in supply chains provision of the UK Modern Slavery Act, this paper aims to examine how firms are responding to modern slavery risks in their supply chains.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an institutional theory lens, a content analysis of modern slavery statements by financial times stock exchange (FTSE) firms is carried out. The analysis focusses on sources of modern slavery institutional pressure and changes that firms have made in their structures, policies and practices in response to modern slavery risks.

Findings

Three sources of institutional pressure are inferred from modern slavery statements: international human rights accords (coercive), multi-stakeholder initiatives (mimetic) and professional standards (normative). Changes made by firms in direct response to modern slavery include adopting new policies, strengthening contract terms, establishing working/steering groups and creating new key performance indicators. FTSE 100 firms have been more proactive than FTSE 250 firms in making these changes, as have firms in higher risk industries.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis covers FTSE firms only. Responses to modern slavery risks by non-FTSE firms deserve attention.

Practical implications

The UK Modern Slavery Act relies on non-government organisations and consumers to hold firms to account over modern slavery. Policymakers should be aware that while this strategy might work with high profile firms, it is less applicable to firms that operate below the public radar.

Originality/value

The paper shows that institutional theory has validity for explaining corporate responses to modern slavery risks.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2017

Anthony Flynn and Paul Davis

This paper develops and tests a model for explaining small and medium-size enterprise (SME) participation and success in public procurement. The model is informed by a…

Abstract

This paper develops and tests a model for explaining small and medium-size enterprise (SME) participation and success in public procurement. The model is informed by a capability-based view of public sector tendering that includes relational and procedural dimensions. To test the model a survey was carried out on firms competing for contracts with Irish public sector organizations (n = 3010). The survey was repeated one year later to demonstrate reliability (n = 3092). Overall, the results lend support to the model. Procedural capability is associated with frequency of tendering and typical value of contract sought. Relational capability is not. Procedural and relational capabilities are each significant in accounting for success rates in contract competitions and commercial orientation towards the public sector.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Book part
Publication date: 7 November 2017

Matt Flynn, Yuxin Li and Anthony Chiva

There has been a growing interest amongst academics, researchers employers and governments/policymakers on ageing workplaces and workforces. As populations age and pension…

Abstract

There has been a growing interest amongst academics, researchers employers and governments/policymakers on ageing workplaces and workforces. As populations age and pension ages rise, older workers are finding themselves having to delay or postpone their retirement and organisations are looking for ways to enable them to do so in sustainable work. Workplace ageing is impacting both European and Asian societies and governments and employers are taking nationally specific approaches to age-related human resource management, social and public policies. In Europe, national governments are being led by the European Union in developing social and public policies to support older workers in maintaining employment through lifelong learning, flexible working, health management and job rotation. Tiger economies have focused on the ‘working pensioner’ pension rules which enable older workers to phase into retirement. China is facing rapid ageing but still maintains early retirement as a way to help older workers move out of physically and mentally demanding work. In addition to providing an outline for the remainder of the book, we also present a survey of older employees undertaken in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong which explores experiences in work, workplace relationships, skills and retirement plans. The survey is used as a common resource for the remaining chapters.

Details

Managing the Ageing Workforce in the East and the West
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-639-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2014

Anthony Flynn and Paul Davis

This paper examines the role of theory in public procurement research. Theoretical rigour is integral to management science, yet little is known on the extent and form of…

Abstract

This paper examines the role of theory in public procurement research. Theoretical rigour is integral to management science, yet little is known on the extent and form of theory in public procurement. With the field starting to mature, addressing this issue is timely. From conducting a systematic literature review we find that 29 percent of articles are theoretically grounded, with the incidence of theory having increased in recent years. Economic, sociological, psychological, and management theories are all in evidence, but micro-economic theories predominate. Our findings also show that survey reporting and case studies account for almost half of all studies; procurement research is focused on organizational-level aspects more than regulatory-policy issues or public buyers; and studies to date have largely emanated from the North American and European regions. The contribution of this paper lies in clarifying the theoretical underpinnings of public procurement. Out of this we highlight the need for greater theoretical rigour, point to the under-use and even absence of theories that could have high validity and utility, and suggest a narrowing of research foci.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2012

David McKevitt, Paul Davis, Roelf Woldring, Kay Smith, Anthony Flynn and Emma McEvoy

There is currently much debate about the meaning of competency and its importance to professionalization. This article explores the personal meaning and importance of…

Abstract

There is currently much debate about the meaning of competency and its importance to professionalization. This article explores the personal meaning and importance of competency from the perspective of public buyers and managers in Ireland and the UK. Using an in-depth mixed method research design, we propose a typology of public procurement competency and discuss the implications of the framework for professionalization of public procurement.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Anthony Flynn and Paul Davis

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between firms’ experience of small- and medium-size enterprise (SME)-friendly policy and their participation and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between firms’ experience of small- and medium-size enterprise (SME)-friendly policy and their participation and success in public procurement.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypothesised relationships between SME-friendly policy and three outcome variables – frequency of tendering, success rate in public contract competitions, and commercial orientation towards the public sector – are tested using survey data from 2,755 SME respondents.

Findings

SME-friendly policy is found to be significant in explaining success rates and commercial orientation towards the public sector marketplace. It is not significant in explaining frequency of tendering.

Research limitations/implications

The context for the study is Ireland. However, given institutional similarities in national public procurement regimes, particularly among EU Member States, the findings have relevance beyond the Irish context. The research design is cross-sectional and so does not allow for any causal claims to be made.

Originality/value

This study puts forward and tests an original model of SME-friendly procurement policy and its associated outcomes for firms. It develops a comprehensive 16-item instrument to measure SME-friendly procurement policy. It uses SMEs as research informants instead of public buyers.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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