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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2020

Karen Lorraine Wontner, Helen Walker, Irina Harris and Jane Lynch

This study aims to illuminate the challenges involved in implementing community benefits (CBs), a sustainable public procurement policy that ensures that there are…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to illuminate the challenges involved in implementing community benefits (CBs), a sustainable public procurement policy that ensures that there are positive social and economic outcomes for the local community when public money is spent on goods, works and services.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews and focus groups were conducted with public sector buyers and suppliers in Wales with experience in implementing CBs. Resource dependence theory was used to examine the extent to which dependence on resources effects CBs implementation.

Findings

Whilst the study confirms that implementation of CBs improves economic and social outcomes, there can also be challenges for public sector organisations and their constituent supply chains. These include tensions between CBs and other policies, differing views between buyers and suppliers, and the unintended consequences of promoting one form of CBs over another.

Research limitations/implications

The research found that Welsh Government influences the buyer-supplier dyad through regulatory and financial power. We elaborate on resource dependency theory by adding four constructs (powerful stakeholders, intra and inter organisational issues, challenges and enablers) to better understand the flows of power and resources in this research context.

Practical implications

Buyer and supplier practitioners and policymakers may find the factors leading to successful CBs implementation useful, such as ensuring closer communication and liaison at early contract stages.

Social implications

Community benefits are aimed at improving socioeconomic issues through public procurement.

Originality/value

This study addresses the need for research into how public sector organisations and suppliers seek to implement socio-economic sustainability measures, and the lack of research on CBs implementation to date. It is also novel in adopting a dyadic approach and a resource dependency perspective.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 40 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 May 2009

Sarah‐Anne Muñoz

Research on social enterprise and social entrepreneurship has sought to examine the role that can be played by selling to the public sector in the generation of social…

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3069

Abstract

Purpose

Research on social enterprise and social entrepreneurship has sought to examine the role that can be played by selling to the public sector in the generation of social enterprises' traded income. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the perceived barriers to engaging in a procurement relationship from the point of view of social enterprise practitioners and public sector procurement professionals.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper stems from focus group work carried out during 2007 with social enterprise practitioners and public sector procurement professionals.

Findings

The analysis of these “voices” demonstrates the progress that has been made in various parts of the UK towards a procurement relationship between the public sector and the social enterprise sector that is more mutually beneficial. However, it also permits reflection on the barriers and challenges that still remain for social enterprises that wish to sell to the public sector.

Originality/value

This paper, therefore, highlights the key areas of support that are needed by both sides in order to create a more productive two‐way relationship. In turn, this allows the paper to reflect on how future research into this topic can support action “on the ground”.

Details

Social Enterprise Journal, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-8614

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2006

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…

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5326

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2009

Helen Walker and Stephen Brammer

This study aims to investigate sustainable procurement in the UK public sector.

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17059

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate sustainable procurement in the UK public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Sustainable procurement is investigated using a questionnaire that draws on established scales for “purchasing social responsibility”. The survey was administered across the UK public sector, and 106 responses were received from procurement officers.

Findings

Analysis of quantitative and qualitative survey data reveal there is significant variation across public sector agencies in the nature of sustainable procurement practice. Local authorities have a particularly strong emphasis on buying from local and small suppliers relative to other sectors, health looks generally lower in many categories, and education appears to have something of an emphasis on environmental aspects of sustainable procurement. Cost has been found to be the leading barrier to sustainable procurement, and top management support the leading facilitator.

Research limitations/implications

There is likely to be selection bias in the sample, with those practitioners engaging in the sustainability agenda being more likely to have responded to the questionnaire. The United Kingdom government has an objective amongst the leaders in Europe on sustainable procurement by 2009, and early signs are encouraging that progress towards this goal is underway.

Originality/value

This paper provides the first survey of sustainable procurement practices across the UK public sector. It also provides a conceptual framework of influences upon the propensity to engage in sustainable procurement practice.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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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…

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1417

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

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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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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2009

Paul D. Larson

The literature suggests public procurement professionals have different perspectives on supply chain management (SCM) vis-à-vis their private sector counterparts. Based on…

Abstract

The literature suggests public procurement professionals have different perspectives on supply chain management (SCM) vis-à-vis their private sector counterparts. Based on a recent survey of Canadian purchasers, this paper presents an empirical comparison of public vs. private views on SCM. The questionnaire is structured around a set of 54 topics, tools and techniques; along with four perspectives on the relationship between purchasing and SCM. Important findings from this survey of SCM professionals include: (1) public procurement professionals have narrow perspectives on SCM compared to their private sector counterparts; and (2) public sector professionals have different perceptions regarding the importance of topics, tools and techniques to support their performance on the job.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 9 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…

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1120

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: 12 October 2012

Michael Johnson

Recent changes in the UK political landscape have brought about cuts in public sector spending. Local authorities, in common with other public sector agencies, are…

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1909

Abstract

Purpose

Recent changes in the UK political landscape have brought about cuts in public sector spending. Local authorities, in common with other public sector agencies, are required to make significant cost savings over the coming years. Procurement is an area of public sector administration characterised by considerable costs and inefficiency where the adoption of innovative technologies, such as e‐markets, can be deployed to effect significant costs savings. However, there are many barriers to the adoption of such technologies. The purpose of this paper is to explore and expound the factors that impede local authorities from adopting e‐markets and to present a learning opportunity for procurement managers and other stakeholders involved in technology adoption in local government and the wider public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study based on in depth interviews with 17 senior level executives in e‐markets and local authorities on barriers to e‐market adoption in the local government sector is presented. The interviews were transcribed and subsequently coded and analysed using the qualitative data analysis software QSR N6.

Findings

A number of factors (risk perception, knowledge deficits, trust, firm size, and organisational readiness) pertaining to Johnson's framework of e‐market adoption barriers were found to affect e‐market adoption and use in the local government sector. Importantly, the study also found factors that are idiosyncratic to the sector that impinged on e‐market adoption.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of the study is limited to examining such barriers from a buy‐side local authority perspective, the findings of which may have implications for the adoption of e‐markets and other e‐procurement technologies in the wider public sector and beyond. The paper also makes a contribution to the literature on e‐market adoption by adding to the body of knowledge relating to institutional theory.

Practical implications

The case study can help local authority and other public sector procurement managers, academic researchers, practitioners, consultants and other professionals involved in technology adoption better understand, and find practical ways to offset, the barriers that impinge on the adoption of e‐markets and other innovative technologies that can reduce costs within public sector organisations.

Originality/value

E‐market adoption has the potential to realise a number of significant cost saving benefits within and between organisations. However, such benefits cannot be realised if there are barriers to their adoption and full utilisation. To date, research on the dynamics of e‐market adoption has largely focused on private sector enterprises with few studies examining this phenomenon in public sector environments. Therefore, e‐market adoption in the public sector has received limited attention in the literature over the past decade. This study examines, and provides empirical evidence of, barriers to e‐market uptake and usage in the local government sector in order to act as a starting point to creating better understanding of such barriers among academic and practitioner audiences.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Kishor Vaidya, A. S. M. Sajeev and Guy Callender

This paper presents the results of a literature survey developed to support a proposed model of the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) likely to impact the success of e…

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a literature survey developed to support a proposed model of the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) likely to impact the success of e-Procurement initiatives in the public sector. It identifies a number of relevant variables for each CSF and presents a model for future research. It also analyses the relative importance of different CSFs and observes that organization and management factors are the most important category for success of e-Procurement initiatives. If e-Procurement initiatives in the public sector are to assist the development of e-Procurement across the information economy, there should be wider discussion and agreement on what constitutes the relevant CSFs and how the achievement of success can be assessed.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 6 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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