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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Joshua Steinfeld, Clifford McCue and Eric Prier

The purpose of this empirical study is to identify the job tasks where decisions regarding social responsibility are likely to occur and assess the potential connections…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this empirical study is to identify the job tasks where decisions regarding social responsibility are likely to occur and assess the potential connections between social responsibility and professionalism.

Design/methodology/approach

A job study conducted by the Universal Public Procurement Certification Council (UPPCC) of 2,593 practitioners is used for data collection. Factor analysis is applied to a set of 75 procurement job tasks to determine the relationship between practitioners’ performance and management of job tasks and social responsibility variables.

Findings

The results suggest that there are specific job tasks performed and managed in both public and private sector procurement that share a unique relationship with social responsibility variables.

Research limitations/implications

The manuscript advances the research on professionalism in procurement and administration through empirically testing job tasks performed and managed by practitioners and identifying relationships between job tasks according to a professional orientation toward social responsibility.

Practical implications

The study shows that specific job tasks are performed and managed in procurement and administration with a social responsibility consideration.

Social implications

The technical nature of job tasks found to be related to social responsibility suggests a paradoxical view of the politics-administration dichotomy, and the notion that neutral tasks of both the public and private sectors are not void of a social function.

Originality/value

One attribute of professionalism in the literature, social responsibility, is operationalized through actual performance and management of job tasks by practitioners.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2021

Clifford P. McCue, Eric Prier and Ryan J. Lofaro

The purpose of this study is to analyze year-end spending practices in the European Economic Area (EEA) to baseline the pervasiveness of year-end spending spikes across…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze year-end spending practices in the European Economic Area (EEA) to baseline the pervasiveness of year-end spending spikes across countries in Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

The Tenders Electronic Daily dataset is used to descriptively analyze above-threshold procurement contracts by country, year and contract type from 2009 to 2018. Proportional distributions are employed to compare percentages of spend across quarters. Analyses are run within each country on the number of years displaying a fourth quarter spike, as well as within each country and contract type.

Findings

The results show that while spending spikes for above-threshold contracts in the final fiscal quarter are not consistent across all countries, patterns emerge when the data are disaggregated by country. The most populous nations in the EEA are more likely to have years with the highest proportion of fiscal spend occurring in the fourth quarter. Further, the type of contract makes a difference – services and supplies contracts are more likely to display fourth quarter spikes than works contracts.

Originality/value

This article provides the first analysis of the year-end spending spike across countries in Europe using procurement data, as well as the first to disaggregate by year and contract type. Findings support the literature on the presence of year-end spikes; such spikes exist even for above-threshold public procurement contracts.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2021

Eric Prier, Clifford McCue and Emily A. Boykin

This study aims to empirically assess the standardization of using voluntary ex ante transparency notices to announce the awards of noncompetitive large-value contracts.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to empirically assess the standardization of using voluntary ex ante transparency notices to announce the awards of noncompetitive large-value contracts.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on open data published in the Official Journal of the European Union, a pooled cross-sectional research design is used to determine the level of standardized use of noncompetitive contracting by member states.

Findings

Findings suggest little evidence of standardization when publicizing direct contract awards, which might warrant remedial measures for promoting standardization by the EU. Moreover, France was found to be a major outlier in the prevalence of using non-competitive direct contract awards procedures.

Social implications

Maintenance of the European Union is predicated on free, transparent and open competition among member states, and this can only be maintained if each member state transposes EU standards into their national laws.

Originality/value

Findings suggest little evidence of standardization when publicizing direct contract awards, which might warrant additional remedial measures promoting consistency across the EU. Moreover, France was found to be a major outlier in the prevalence of using non-competitive direct contract awards procedures.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2016

Eric Prier, Edward Schwerin and Clifford P. McCue

In general, there are many disincentives standing in the way of promoting change in public procurement practices by government agencies. Because engaging in sustainable…

Abstract

In general, there are many disincentives standing in the way of promoting change in public procurement practices by government agencies. Because engaging in sustainable purchasing requires some level of entrepreneurialism and risk-taking, a sorting framework is adopted to gauge whether some organizations are systematically more likely to pursue sustainable public purchasing (SPP) efforts than others. One-way analysis of variance and other methods are applied to a survey of public procurement practitioners across over 300 governments in the U.S. Results strongly suggest that agencies of various scope and reach tend to abstain from aggressively pursuing SPP efforts. However, when they do employ SPP, these efforts tend to be quite variable across and within levels of government and organizational size. In an effort to bridge theory with empirical data, a strong case can be made that the current state of SPP in the United States is the result of random and very cautious experimentation with little systematic pattern to SPP adoption.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Eric Prier and Clifford P. McCue

At all levels of government, inconsistencies exist regarding the terminology and the body of knowledge used to understand public procurement. Perspectives on what public…

Abstract

At all levels of government, inconsistencies exist regarding the terminology and the body of knowledge used to understand public procurement. Perspectives on what public procurement is, or should be, ranges from routine ordering to sophisticated analysis of government spending. Definitional ambiguities have hampered attempts to define the field and unify its focus. This exploratory article examines the implications of the muddled nature of public procurement that has led to debate and uncertainty about the proper role of public procurement practitioners. To address these limitations, three dimensions of all public procurement systems are identified, and a general definition is proposed for describing the field and its institutionalized practices.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 9 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2010

Eric Prier, Cliff McCue and Ravi Behara

This article discusses the unmet need for widespread certification and professionalization of those involved in public procurement. Through original data analysis…

Abstract

This article discusses the unmet need for widespread certification and professionalization of those involved in public procurement. Through original data analysis, differences in perceptions regarding the value and benefits of certification among public sector procurement practitioners are examined. Findings indicate that there is growing awareness by both those holding certification and those who are not certified that certification leads to advanced knowledge and skills within the procurement area. Further, job advancement and occupational growth is perceived to be directly related to certification, and that certification holders enjoy special privilege within occupational norms.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2008

Cliff McCue and Eric Prier

Cooperative purchasing is beginning to receive renewed attention by scholars and practitioners alike in both the private and public sectors. Generally, cooperative…

Abstract

Cooperative purchasing is beginning to receive renewed attention by scholars and practitioners alike in both the private and public sectors. Generally, cooperative purchasing arrangements have been reported to reduce costs, expedite transactions, and increase product knowledge. In the public sector, cooperative purchasing has been reported to reduce political risk, minimize “red-tape,” and, in some cases, avoid all reported social equity goals that are reported to increase costs. In this article, we contend that the lack of conceptual clarity has marred the literature on cooperative public sector purchasing, and as a result public sector purchasers have no theoretical guidelines to help them decide upon this purchasing mechanism. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to use agency theory to analyze, define, and establish a conceptual framework of cooperative public purchasing to help guide academics and practicing public sector purchasing professionals.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2015

Clifford P. McCue, Eric Prier and David Swanson

Procurement systems in democratic governments across the globe face competing demands, conflated values and goals, and are being called upon to address societies "wicked"…

Abstract

Procurement systems in democratic governments across the globe face competing demands, conflated values and goals, and are being called upon to address societies "wicked" problems under the rubric of government "reform." As a result, government purchasing professionals are being challenged to develop new flexible structures and processes that devolve purchasing responsibility, yet maintain accountability and control; limit the opportunity for fraud/mismanagement while reducing operational constraints; increase economic efficiency while satisfying political demands for minority/local/small and women owned business participation; increase open and transparent competition while achieving best value; and applying best practices while confronting legal limitations. Essentially these dilemmas have placed public procurement at the forefront of government reform efforts. The current study delineates the nature of five dilemmas that purchasing practitioners face, and the implications of these dilemmas for purchasing in the public sphere are explored. Given the complexity of these dilemmas, procurement professionals will be continually called upon to balance these inherent tensions with little guidance from policymakers or elected officials.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2015

Joshua M. Steinfeld, Eric Prier and Clifford McCue

Procurement is a specific, yet dynamic area of work and study that is recognized as an occupation by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, there is growing…

Abstract

Purpose

Procurement is a specific, yet dynamic area of work and study that is recognized as an occupation by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, there is growing literature that substantiates differences in theory and practice, between procurement practitioners in the private and public sectors. The purpose of this paper is to validate the procurement occupational duties identified by the BLS with actual job activities performed and managed by public sector practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a survey of public sector practitioners to obtain information with regards to occupational duties and job activities in public procurement, as compared to a BLS proxy for procurement.

Findings

Public procurement practitioners complete the occupational duties identified by BLS, yet there is one occupational duty in public procurement that is absent from the BLS description for procurement.

Practical implications

Empirical data and analysis identifies the potential for public procurement to be considered its own occupation separate from private sector procurement, providing a foundation for development, management, and professionalization of the field.

Originality/value

The public procurement practitioners who completed the survey have a high degree of professional orientation based on certifications held and professional association membership, a foundation for generating applicatory results for studying the actual occupational duties in procurement. The specialized job activities performed and managed in perhaps the fastest growing occupation within public sector management are catalogued in this study.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Scarlett C. Wesley, Vanessa Prier Jackson and Minyoung Lee

Soft skills which are a combination of personal qualities and interpersonal skills that help an employer perform their job are an increasingly important concern to…

Abstract

Purpose

Soft skills which are a combination of personal qualities and interpersonal skills that help an employer perform their job are an increasingly important concern to businesses and academia, the purpose of this paper is to determine how students ranked the importance of soft skills and compare their rankings to retailing and tourism management faculty and businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey of students, faculty and industry leaders was conducted using an existing survey instrument validated by Crawford et al. (2011). Faculty who were members of retailing and tourism management professional organizations were solicited to participate in the study. Retailing and tourism management students from the researchers’ university were sent a link to complete the survey. All participants were asked to rank the order of importance of the soft skills and their characteristics.

Findings

Variations in the importance of soft skills were reported between the three groups. Variations in the importance of the soft skills characteristics were also identified between the students, faculty, and industry leaders. While communication was identified as the most important soft skill by all three sample groups, experiences was the least important for students and leadership was the least important for faculty and industry leaders.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the study was the variation in the sample sizes between the student, faculty, and industry sample. The strength of this study lies in the ability to provide evidence for the need to compare soft skills research results for retailing and tourism management students. Soft skills are found to be important to all three groups, but differences indicate faculty and industry need to work together to clarify exactly what soft skills students need to successfully compete for employment in the retailing and tourism management field.

Originality/value

As the work world continues to change, employers seek workers who have soft skills that support their knowledge base. While technical skills are a current part of educational curricula, soft skills need to be emphasized at the university level so that students gain expertise that prepare them to be successful in this changing workplace.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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