Uncertainty avoidance: public sector clients and procurement selection

Love, Peter E.D. and Davis, Peter R. and Edwards, David J. and Baccarini, David (2008) Uncertainty avoidance: public sector clients and procurement selection. International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol.21 (7). ISSN 0951-3558


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.

Additional Information

Item Type: Article
Collection: CRC for Construction Innovation
Keywords: CRC for Construction Innovation; Program C : Delivery Management of Built Assets; Project 2006-034-C : Procurement method Toolkit
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 03:13
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 03:20
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Icon.Net Pty Ltd
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URI: http://digitalcollections.qut.edu.au/id/eprint/1697
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