Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2017

Volume 17, Number 1, Spring 2017

REGULAR ARTICLES

The Role of Training in Dismantling Barriers to SME Participation in Public Procurement.......................       1

J. Saastamoinen, H. Reijonen and T. Tammi

International Trade Protectionist Policies and In-State Preferences: A Link .............................................   31

S. Abutabenjeh, S. B. Gordon and B. Mengistu

Tracing the Effects of Politicization on Public Procurement Specialists’ Decision Making Through 

Values: A Structural Equation Model of the Broker-Purist Lens ................................................................    52

A. Roman

A Comparative Study of Formulas for Choosing the Economically Most Advantageous Tender ...............   88

P. S. Stilger, J. Siderius and E. M. van Raaij

Currently, our understandings of the dynamics behind the effects of politicization on values and on administrative decision-making remain largely muddled and far from complete. The richness of theoretical accounts, amassed over the past eight decades, has yielded only a limited number of empirical examinations. This failure to develop a coherent collection of empirical works can be for the most part attributed to the complexity associated with studying values, particularly to the lack of clear and testable theories and models. This article attempts to address this deficit and to add to our understandings of the association between values and administrative decision-making at the individual level by explicitly testing the Broker-Purist (BP) model (within a sample of public procurement specialists). It is found that the BP model fits the data well, which suggest the framework as a valid and useful perspective for conceptualizing the effects of environmental politicization on administrative decision-making in public procurement specifically, and in public administration in general.

By implementing various forms of preference policies, countries around the world intervene in their economies for their own political and economic purposes. Likewise, twenty-five states in the U.S. have implemented in-state preference policies (NASPO, 2012) to protect and support their own vendors from out-of-state competition to achieve similar purposes. The purpose of this paper is to show the connection between protectionist public policy instruments noted in the international trade literature and the in-state preference policies within the United States. This paper argues that the reasons and the rationales for adopting these preference policies in international trade and the states’ contexts are similar. Given the similarity in policy outcomes, the paper further argues that the international trade literature provides an overarching explanation to help understand what states could expect in applying in-state preference policies.

Choosing the best bid is a central step in any tendering process. If the award criterion is the economically most advantageous tender (EMAT), this involves scoring bids on price and quality and ranking them. Scores are calculated using a bid evaluation formula that takes as inputs price and quality, and their respective weights. The choice of formula critically affects which bid wins. We study 38 such formulas and discuss several of their aspects, such as how much the outcome of a tender depends on which formula is being used, relative versus absolute scoring, ranking paradox, iso-utility curves, protection against a winner with an extremely high price, and how a formula reflects the weights of price and quality. Based on these analyses, we summarize the (dis)advantages and risks of certain formulas and provide associated warnings when applying certain formulas in practice.

This paper examines entry barriers to involvement in public procurement of small and medium-sized enterprises and the role of training in dismantling those barriers. We find that firms’ perceptions of barriers are of five main types. Regression analysis shows that a lack of ongoing training is associated with SMEs’ perceptions of resource constraints and practical skills that hinder their participation in public procurement. We also observe a positive connection between a positive attitude toward training and SMEs’ participation rates in public procurement. As a managerial implication, the value of training should be appraised at the firm level, and organizing training and providing information concerning public procurement could be a recommended policy to improve the SME participation rate in public procurement.

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