Facing a dilemma when procuring consultancy services in the public sector- A qualitative study of how public organizations learn

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för företagande och ledning; Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Abstract: Organizations in the public sector face a dilemma when procuring consultancy services, due to the adaptation of the Public Procurement Act. The thesis aims to understand how organizations learn to improve their process of procuring. The research context for this study is the Swedish public sector. The research design is an abductive qualitative research. 15 semi-structured interviews have been conducted with individuals responsible for procurements in the public sector. In this study, innovative organizations using new evaluation methods have been investigated. Differences have been found between these organizations despite the similarity of being innovative and the evaluation methods used. In this thesis, three groups have been identified in which the interview objects have been placed. One group is seen as only using the gained experience to a limited extent while another group has gained experience within a specific task. The organizations in the last group identified is seen as having a broad experience and has come further in the learning process resulting in integrating the experience more, as well as transferring the gained knowledge into the organization. Furthermore, five categories have been identified: experience, multilevel organizations, procurement development, relationship, and the role of the consultants. A relationship between the theory of the different themes and the three groups has been found. For instance, it has been found that the more experience an organization has, the more developed its procurement is. Relationship has further been found to be an important factor in the determination of success of the procurement and collaboration in the consultant projects, and something that has been incorporated in all categories mentioned above.

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