Public buying decisions: a framework for buyers and small firms
International Journal of Public Sector Management
Purpose -The aim of this paper is to explore the factors that influence buyer decision-making in public procurement. The objective is to better understand the processes and conditions that support different supply arrangements, which maximise SME participation. Design/methodology/approach -The paper uses case study evidence of contract awards across multiple organisational contexts including: a local authority, commercial semi-state, police force, and a tourist agency. Findings -National policy
... and the role of procurement exerted mixed effects upon the cases. The procurement processes were broadly similar and included cross-functional teams, consideration of trade-offs and market research. Research limitations/implications -The paper highlights the transition of public organisations toward strategic procurement including supplier engagement. Practical implications -This offers buyers a decision support tool that promotes equal opportunities for SME participation, a key goal of EU procurement. The implications for suppliers of each buying decision are also outlined. The concept of practical rationality is used to support the framework. Originality/value -A normative framework of public procurement decision-making is generated from the cases. Buying complexity and supplier engagement are two conditions that support a 2 £ 2 decision framework. The framework extends efficient and central-buying decisions to include adapted and balanced decisions. This range offers buyers a decision support tool that promotes equal opportunities for SME participation, a key goal of EU procurement. The implications for suppliers of each buying decision are discussed.