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Grieving the loss of a public contract: De La Rue and the Brexit Passport

Flynn, Anthony ORCID: 2019. Grieving the loss of a public contract: De La Rue and the Brexit Passport. Journal of Public Procurement 20 (1) , pp. 20-37. 10.1108/JOPP-06-2019-0035

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Purpose This paper aims to examine how firms react to the loss of a major government contract. Reactions to contract loss are yet to be properly studied in public procurement. Design/methodology/approach The hypothesis is that contract loss triggers a five-stage grieving process, as predicted by the Kubler-Ross model. The hypothesis is tested using the recent UK passport contract in which the British supplier, De La Rue, lost to the Franco-Dutch supplier, Gemalto. Secondary data from corporate publications, news reporting, parliamentary debates and trade union press releases is used to compile the case. Findings The findings show that De La Rue and its supporters passed through the five stages of grief in response to their loss. De La Rue initially exhibited denial by vowing to appeal the decision. Next came anger directed at the UK Government. An attempt to bargain was made during the standstill period. Depression set in after De La Rue admitted it would not appeal. Finally, acceptance was indicated by De La Rue pursuing new opportunities in the product authentication market.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 1535-0118
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 November 2019
Date of Acceptance: 15 October 2019
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 06:53

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