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Filip Roodhooft and Alexandra Van den Abbeele
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.