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Article

Shelena Keulemans and Steven Van de Walle

The purpose of this paper is to explore and explain public preferences for different public procurement practices. The paper looks into public support for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and explain public preferences for different public procurement practices. The paper looks into public support for cost-effectiveness, discriminatory procurement in favour of domestic suppliers and sustainable procurement.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses Eurobarometer public opinion data on 26.836 EU citizens from 27 EU countries.

Findings

This paper shows that EU citizens want public authorities to evaluate multiple aspects of any procurement offer in their public procurement decisions. It also found that, although cost-effectiveness and domestic favouritism are still important to EU citizens, citizens are most supportive of the objectives of sustainable procurement. Some associations between citizens’ procurement preferences and their social characteristics and political attitudes were found, but these only explain citizen procurement preferences to a limited extent. Country of residence has the strongest association with citizens’ acceptance of the objectives of sustainable procurement.

Research limitations/implications

Even though the data contain information on the procurement preferences of a large number of EU citizens, it is a topic of inquiry that is sensitive to social desirability bias.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the empirical understanding of public attitudes towards public procurement. It is one of few studies on citizen attitudes towards different public procurement practices.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Content available
Article

Peter M. Kruyen, Shelena Keulemans, Rick T. Borst and Jan-Kees Helderman

Since the early 1980s, western governments are assumed to have been either moving toward post-bureaucratic models or transforming into so-called neo-Weberian…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the early 1980s, western governments are assumed to have been either moving toward post-bureaucratic models or transforming into so-called neo-Weberian bureaucracies. As different public-sector (reform) models imply different ideal typical personality traits for civil servants, the purpose of this paper is to ask the question to what extent personality requirements that governments demand from their employees have evolved over time in line with these models.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyzed the use of big-five traits in a sample of 21,003 job advertisements for local government jobs published between 1980 and 2017, applying tools for computer-assisted text analysis.

Findings

Using multilevel regression analyses, the authors conclude that, over time, there is a significant increase in the use of personality descriptors related to all big-five factors.

Research limitations/implications

The authors postulate that governments nowadays are actively looking for the “renaissance bureaucrat” in line with the neo-Weberian bureaucracy paradigm. The authors end with a discussion of both positive and negative consequences of this development.

Originality/value

First, the authors explicitly link personality, public administration, and public management using the Abridged Big-Five-Dimensional Circumflex model of personality. Second, by linking observed trends in civil servant personality requirements to larger theories of public-sector reform models, the authors narrow the gap between public administration theories and practice. Third, the software tools that the authors use to digitalize and analyze a large number of documents (the job ads) are new to the discipline of public administration. The research can therefore serve as a guideline for scholars who want to use software tools to study large amounts of unstructured, qualitative data.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article

Jolien Grandia and Joanne Meehan

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue and outline its major themes and challenges, their relevance and the research opportunities the field presents.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue and outline its major themes and challenges, their relevance and the research opportunities the field presents.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews prior literature and outlines the need to view public procurement as a policy tool to introduce the contributions to this special issue.

Findings

Public procurement has been consistently used to further public policies in a wide range of fields. The collection of articles in this special issue contributes to a broader understanding of the role and potential of public procurement in delivering desired policy outcomes in society. The articles show that public procurement largely has strategic aspirations, and its potential to deliver on wider societal issues is attractive to policy makers. The issues raised in this collection of articles, however, also demonstrate that public procurement often lacks strategic maturity and critical issues, notably around how to demonstrate and evaluate its impact and “success”.

Research limitations/implications

This paper aims to stimulate interdisciplinary research into the role of public procurement as a policy tool and its ability to achieve public value.

Originality/value

This paper discusses theoretical and empirical findings that highlight the importance of public procurement for achieving public value. The special issue examines the interdisciplinary literature on public procurement and shows how it is being used to achieve public value.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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