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Article

Sitsofe Kwame Yevu and Ann Tit Wan Yu

The purpose of this paper is to present a review of research developments on the ecosystem of driving forces for electronic procurement (e-procurement) on project

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a review of research developments on the ecosystem of driving forces for electronic procurement (e-procurement) on project procurement and to propose directions for future research for an effective adoption and sustained usage.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review was conducted in three phases to identify and examine literature. A total of 68 papers were retrieved and were thoroughly reviewed to identify the drivers for e-procurement.

Findings

A total of 61 drivers were identified and subsequently developed into a categorization framework for synthesized understanding which reveals existing interrelationships. Although literature has consensus on some selected drivers, few studies have identified drivers relating to sustainability. Gaps were identified from the existing literature and directions for future research were proposed.

Research limitations/implications

Since this is a literature review, future research could conduct further investigations focusing on the research gaps identified. The framework developed presents a basis for further research to explore the drivers in various socio-economic environments.

Practical implications

This study provides valuable insights for improving the understanding of practitioners on the complex network of drivers for e-procurement. These findings stimulate discussions on benefits required for assessment in e-procurement adoption by practitioners.

Originality/value

This study provides the first comprehensive review of the drivers for e-procurement adoption in the construction industry, which was lacking in the existing body of knowledge.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Titus Ebenezer Kwofie, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa and Seja Olgah Machethe

Non-traditional procurement is thought to offer enhanced benefits over traditional contracts. However, several factors significantly impacting the optimization of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Non-traditional procurement is thought to offer enhanced benefits over traditional contracts. However, several factors significantly impacting the optimization of the benefits have been suggested. Even though effective communication is ranked high among these factors, not enough empirical insights have been given to the nature of communication performance in non-traditional procurements in construction project delivery. The purpose of this paper is to focus on understanding the taxonomy of communication performance in non-traditional procurements in the South African Construction Industry, given the centrality of communication to team effectiveness, performance, project success and managerial efficiency.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a deductive research approach, an empirical questionnaire survey was conducted drawing on the practical communication experience of project teams engaged in projects using non-traditional procurement systems.

Findings

Using aggregated mean scores and inter-rater agreement index and Mann‒Whitney tests, the results revealed inaccuracies, barriers and procedural challenges as frequently occurring in the interpersonal and organizational communication in the adopted non-traditional procurement systems. Additionally, untimeliness and distorted information were noted to be occurring occasionally, whereas incomplete communication, misunderstood information and gatekeeping rarely occurred. Lastly, protocol-related communication challenges were deemed to have never occurred in their interpersonal and organizational communication in their project delivery. In the assessment of communication performance, the less frequently occurring assessment indicator is a testament to good communication performance, whereas the frequently occurring indicator represents a poor performance in the communication.

Originality/value

This systematic approach toward understanding the taxonomy of the interpersonal and organizational communication performance in non-traditional procurement is very significant toward communication performance improvement in the industry. The insight given by the findings may help construction project practitioners to focus their attention on the necessary aspects of communication in non-traditional procurements to optimize their benefits over traditional procurement models.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Henrico Plantinga and André Dorée

– The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the reasoning behind the development of new procurement approaches by public sector clients.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the reasoning behind the development of new procurement approaches by public sector clients.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach focuses on a procurement development process by a public sector client. It investigates the reasoning behind various applications of the project alliancing concept in rail infrastructure projects over a period of 15 years. Alliancing applications are singled out and mapped against a number of criteria derived from literature on alliancing. The reasoning behind these applications and their differences are reconstructed from contextual documentation. Theories and concepts from the fields of strategic management and knowledge management literature are used to analyse the results.

Findings

The development process seems to be evolutionary rather than deliberately planned. The uncovered variations in alliancing applications can only to a very limited extent be explained by the reconstructed reasoning. This suggests that the applied designs are mostly based on implicit reasoning by individual project teams. From a strategic management perspective, the development pattern resembles the emergent type of strategy formation.

Originality/value

This study offers an initial insight into the reasoning processes behind the (re-)design of procurement approaches within a public sector client organization. A unique feature of this study is that these reasoning processes are explored from the strategy formation perspective that conceptually links the design of new procurement approaches to strategic management theory.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article

Jillian Yeow and Jakob Edler

Public procurement is a complex process. This complexity increases considerably when the procured product or service is an innovation, which often addresses new needs…

Abstract

Public procurement is a complex process. This complexity increases considerably when the procured product or service is an innovation, which often addresses new needs, requires different skills, takes on higher risks and thus demands organizational change. In this paper we argue that because of those demands procuring innovation necessitates the use of advanced project management techniques and an intelligent multistep project design. We underpin this argument by presenting a case study of the procurement of an innovation within the UK National Health Service which had stalled for many years but then was successfully completed by using those project management techniques. We highlight the different processes needed for the procurement of innovation compared to standard, business-as-usual procurement, and we suggest the management of procurement as multi-step, multi arena projects as a strategy for innovation procurement.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article

Gigih Udi Atmo, Colin Duffield, Lihai Zhang and David Ian Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the outcomes of Indonesian power projects as representative projects of Asian emerging economies that were procured via…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the outcomes of Indonesian power projects as representative projects of Asian emerging economies that were procured via public-private partnerships (PPPs) and traditional public sector procurement. Power generation infrastructure delivery in emerging economies frequently seeks private participation via PPPs as one of the key mechanisms to attract private finance. Undertaking a comparative benchmark study of the outcomes of Indonesian power projects provides an opportunity to explore the historic evidence as to whether PPPs deliver better outcomes than traditional public procurement in emerging economies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper reports on a study of the performance of 56 Indonesian power projects procured via either PPPs or traditional procurement. First, it focusses on project time and cost outcomes of power plant facility during construction and commissioning and then extends this comparison to consider the operating availability of power plants during their first two years of operation.

Findings

The results indicate that PPP projects had superior time and operating availability to those procured traditionally whereas no significant differences were identified in the cost performance between PPPs and traditionally procured projects. These findings highlight the importance of adopting policies that are supported by broader sources of international financiers and high quality power plant developers.

Research limitations/implications

The quality performance analyses of projects (based on equivalent available factor indices) were limited to the power plants in the Java-Bali region where the majority of projects are large scale power plants.

Practical implications

This study provides an empirical basis for governments of emerging economies to select the most beneficial procurement strategy for power plant projects. It highlights the importance of selecting experienced providers and to adopt policies that attract high quality international project financiers and power plant developers. This includes the need to ensure the commercial viability of projects and to seriously consider the use of cleaner power technologies.

Originality/value

This study is the first to compare the outcomes of power projects in Asian emerging economies delivered via PPPs against those delivered by traditional public procurement that includes consideration of the quality of the delivered product.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article

Jemima Antwiwaa Ottou, Bernard Kofi Baiden and Gabriel Nani

Project management tools and techniques have been widely adopted in the construction industry; however, its combination with Six Sigma and application in construction…

Abstract

Purpose

Project management tools and techniques have been widely adopted in the construction industry; however, its combination with Six Sigma and application in construction procurement has not been widely researched. This paper explores the use of Six Sigma Project Procurement (SSPP) and its potential applications in public sector construction procurement.

Design/methodology/approach

The role of Six Sigma and project management in construction is critically evaluated using three case studies to demonstrate their application in public procurement.

Findings

The use of SSPP by public sector organisations creates efficient and effective construction procurement processes by addressing delays. The proposed timelines for competitive tendering in the Ghanaian Public Procurement Manual are not realistic.

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to and broadens the limited body of evidence and knowledge of applying SSPP to public procurement processes and identifies areas for further research.

Practical implications

Project management will continue to expand in the global construction industry. However, what will eventually determine if SSPP is embraced by public sector construction depends on the leadership and success of its execution. The application of SSPP to public construction procurement will address delays and lead to significant time reduction of the process. This will eliminate the major issue (delay) accounting for deficiencies in the process.

Originality/value

The paper yields immense value to construction project management researchers and practitioners, especially in the public sector. It recommends the inclusion of Six Sigma to promote focus on actual instead of perceived problems and advocates for decisions-making based on facts which will ensure continuous improvement.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article

Alireza Talebi and Davar Rezania

Governance of projects is a dynamic process that involves the interaction of agents, opportunities, rules, instruments and legitimacy. The authors conducted a case study…

Abstract

Purpose

Governance of projects is a dynamic process that involves the interaction of agents, opportunities, rules, instruments and legitimacy. The authors conducted a case study of the governance of exploratory projects in public procurement of innovation in a local government. The authors consider both contextual aspects that impose requirements on the procurement process and procedural aspects of how the different actors interact with each other. In particular, the purpose of this study is to investigate how actors make sense of the projects and how governance evolves over their lifetime.

Design/methodology/approach

To engage in an open-system investigation of exploratory public procurement of innovation (PPI) projects, the authors adopted a case study approach in which they collected a variety of data including publicly available documentary evidence, interviews with project participants and project evaluation reports. The authors used transcripts of 17 interviews with project participants conducted independently to gain an initial understanding of the case. They conducted additional semi-structured interviews with projects’ participants (ten interviews in total) and used theory-driven analysis (Pawson and Tilley, 1997) based on Borrás and Edler’s (2014) model of governance.

Findings

The authors identified four stages – problem identification, partner selection, partnership development and evaluation and commercialization – these projects. The case demonstrates how governance changes in each stage and at the three levels of policy, network and projects. Each level has its own governance pillar. The results suggest that a multi-level perspective (MLP) can be a fruitful framework to study governance of projects in these contexts.

Research limitations/implications

The authors note that the number of participants in the network of this case is not very large. Other organizations that aim to adopt PPI may need to pay attention to the complementarity and the number of partners in the network. In this case, organizations were motivated to collaborate as each had its own objectives which were distinct but complementary.

Practical implications

Co-creation of value is currently a topic of interest for public policy reform across the globe. The case indicates that procurement for innovation requires a degree of coordinated change across governmental departments, such as planning, legal and procurement to implement the policy and related support systems. Furthermore, the authors observed that a portfolio approach to inter-organizational collaboration with different partners was effective. Each partner has its own objective, but they complement one another. A portfolio of different, though complementary, inter-organizational arrangements enables various complementary instruments and various logics to be used.

Social implications

The public sector is an important actor in driving innovation in products and services that fulfill societal needs. This is explored in public procurement of innovation. In this process, several partners from private and public sectors are involved. This partnership is mainly used to co-create the value and encourage innovation to benefit the citizens. However, to serve this goal, the case indicates that procurement for innovation requires a degree of coordinated change across governmental departments, such as planning, legal and procurement to implement the policy and related support systems. For this phenomenon MLP should be used as an inclusive framework to study socio-technical change.

Originality/value

The analysis of the case presented in this study demonstrates that even in the case of temporary public procurement of innovation projects, governance is layered. The three pillars of governance not only interact at each layer but also communicate across layers. Even though the interaction of the three pillars of governance is well established in the literature on socio-technical change, the interaction across levels in the context of temporary projects is novel. The authors contribute to the literature on governance of such projects by highlighting the stratification of governance.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

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Article

Noah Mwelu, Peter R. Davis, Yongjian Ke and Susan Watundu

The propose of this study is to focus on the mediating role of compliance with procurement regulatory frameworks in implementing public road construction projects.

Abstract

Purpose

The propose of this study is to focus on the mediating role of compliance with procurement regulatory frameworks in implementing public road construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional research design was adopted. Structured questionnaires were developed in a three-step process including generating items, purifying measurement items and validating measurement items. Variables were anchored on a five-point Likert scale because it is an efficient unidimensional scale that ensures all items measure the same thing and widely applicable in construction research.

Findings

The findings show that compliance with a public procurement regulatory framework significantly mediates the relationship between familiarity with a public procurement regulatory framework, monitoring activities, sanction on staff and contractors’ resistance to non-compliance and public road construction project success. However, compliance with a public procurement regulatory framework does not mediate the relationship between the professionalism of staff and perceived inefficiency with public road construction projects’ success.

Research limitations/implications

Limited mediation studies and examples in the public road construction subsector affected this study to comprehensively investigate and compare study findings. Furthermore, the study adopted a cross-sectional research design that limits responses to one point in time. Finally, the study missed out other participants in different organizations and departments that could have had relevant information.

Social implications

The study contributes to public procurement and construction management research fields by uncovering this strong mediating role of compliance with a public procurement regulatory framework that collectively would help the government to implement public road construction projects successfully. Because no single factor can reliably attain objectives, blending these factors through a hybrid governance system would enable the government to achieve value for money, increase the quality and quantity of paved roads and save funds that can be channeled to other priority sectors for economic development.

Originality/value

Despite scholarly efforts to establish project success factors, studies have been limited to factors directly impacting the project success without considering a mediating effect among the factors that affect the success of these projects.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article

Saad Sarhan, Christine Pasquire, Emmanuel Manu and Andrew King

The construction industry has been subject to substantial criticism for its short-term “hit-and-run” relationships which are focussed on win-lose situations. Despite the…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry has been subject to substantial criticism for its short-term “hit-and-run” relationships which are focussed on win-lose situations. Despite the wide recognition of these problems the industry persistently resists the radical demanded of it. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is twofold. First, to investigate why this might be the case by reviewing the governance problem confronting clients and decision makers in construction procurement, as conceptualised in transaction cost economics (TCE). Second, to critically analyse and question the efficiency and effectiveness of various safeguarding approaches, which are taken for granted and commonly practiced in construction, from a lean perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis of this paper is based on an in-depth critical review of 76 construction procurement and contractual-related articles, ranging from 1994 to 2016, using theories of Lean construction and TCE as an analytical lens.

Findings

Findings reveal that clients and decision makers often tend to safeguard their project-specific assets, against opportunism and exploitation, through the deployment of formal contractual arrangements and governance structures. These arrangements and structures typically dominate the management of the project delivery often to the detriment of the project itself; but because there is a belief that interests are safeguarded, clients and decision makers feel they have taken the best course of action. This goes a long way to explaining the coherence of the current construction model.

Research limitations/implications

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to demonstrate the usefulness of using principles of Lean construction in association with TCE when analysing construction-procurement-related issues. In particular, the use of a “lean” lens helps to expose the impact of procurement governance arrangements on process flow. The study also provides a potential research agenda that can lead to the development of prescriptive conceptual frameworks for causal analysis of institutionalised waste in construction.

Practical implications

The paper attempts to expose to clients and decision makers the amount of waste (and unnecessary cost) they embed by adhering to prevailing unfit-for-purpose contractual governance approaches. It also helps decision makers to consider alternative procurement arrangements and organisational techniques that could be of value and support collaborative ways of working.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the overall understanding of waste in construction by providing insight into various imperfect procurement and contractual arrangements, which are taken for granted and impede efficiency and improvement efforts in construction. The findings presented provide a theoretical anchor and rationale for developing alternative approaches to the design and delivery of capital projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article

Nilesh Agarchand and Boeing Laishram

Infrastructure development through public-private partnership (PPP) route in India has exhibited concerns about not promoting progress toward sustainable development…

Abstract

Purpose

Infrastructure development through public-private partnership (PPP) route in India has exhibited concerns about not promoting progress toward sustainable development goals, particularly social and environmental perspectives. The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to identify the shortcomings in the Indian PPP procurement process using the key principles of sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research inquiry through grounded theory approach by using the literature and interview source was used to identify the challenges encountered in sustainable infrastructure development of PPP projects. These challenges were, first, reviewed from the perspectives of key sustainability principles and then discussed with the key stakeholders through focused interviews. Furthermore, micro-interlocutor analysis was carried to get an insight on the extent of consensus amongst the experts regarding these identified shortfalls.

Findings

The key shortfalls identified from the study that adversely affect progress toward sustainable development include incomprehensive environmental impact assessment and social impact assessment studies; lack of stakeholder and local participation; high bidding and transaction cost; high user charges; improper risk allocation; lack of transparency and accountability; goal conflicts between public and private sector; and lack of skill and knowledge about sustainability.

Practical implications

The study findings will help in devising appropriate strategies for enhancing the mechanisms, policies, and governance structure of PPP process in order to overcome these shortfalls and help in accomplishing the goals of sustainability while developing infrastructure even through PPP route.

Originality/value

The paper presents different insights into PPP from sustainability perspective which has not been the focus of the current studies on PPPs. Sustainability assessment of PPP procurement is an area of research which is in a nascent stage.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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