Uncertainty avoidance: public sector clients and procurement selection

Love, Peter E.D., Davis, Peter R. , Edwards, David J. , & Baccarini, David (2008) Uncertainty avoidance: public sector clients and procurement selection. International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol.21(7), pp. 753-776.

View at publisher


Purpose: Choosing the appropriate procurement system for construction projects is a complex and challenging task for clients particularly when professional advice has not been sought. To assist with the decision making process, a range of procurement selection tools and techniques have been developed by both academic and industry bodies. Public sector clients in Western Australia (WA) remain uncertain about the pairing of procurement method to bespoke construction project and how this decision will ultimately impact upon project success. This paper examines ‘how and why’ a public sector agency selected particular procurement methods. · Methodology/Approach: An analysis of two focus group workshops (with 18 senior project and policy managers involved with procurement selection) is reported upon · Findings: The traditional lump sum (TLS) method is still the preferred procurement path even though alternative forms such as design and construct, public-private-partnerships could optimize the project outcome. Paradoxically, workshop participants agreed that alternative procurement forms should be considered, but an embedded culture of uncertainty avoidance invariably meant that TLS methods were selected. Senior managers felt that only a limited number of contractors have the resources and experience to deliver projects using the nontraditional methods considered. · Research limitations/implications: The research identifies a need to develop a framework that public sector clients can use to select an appropriate procurement method. A procurement framework should be able to guide the decision-maker rather than provide a prescriptive solution. Learning from previous experiences with regard to procurement selection will further provide public sector clients with knowledge about how to best deliver their projects.

Impact and interest:

24 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

790 since deposited on 28 Sep 2009
58 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 27598
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: CRC for Construction Innovation, Program C : Delivery Management of Built Assets , Project 2006-034-C : Procurement method Toolkit
ISSN: 0951-3558
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Icon.Net Pty Ltd
Copyright Statement: The Participants of the CRC for Construction Innovation have delegated authority to the CEO of the CRC to give Participants permission to publish material created by the CRC for Construction Innovation. This delegation is contained in Clause 30 of the Agreement for the Establishment and Operation of the Cooperative Research Centre for Construction Innovation. The CEO of the CRC for Construction Innovation gives permission to the Queensland University of Technology to publish the papers/publications provided in the collection in QUT ePrints provided that the publications are published in full. Icon.Net Pty Ltd retains copyright to the publications. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the CEO of the CRC. The CRC warrants that Icon.Net Pty Ltd holds copyright to all papers/reports/publications produced by the CRC for Construction Innovation.
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2009 01:59
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 15:44

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page