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The policy–practice divide and SME-friendly public procurement

Flynn, Anthony ORCID: and Davis, Paul 2016. The policy–practice divide and SME-friendly public procurement. Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 34 (3) , pp. 559-578. 10.1177/0263774X15614667

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Policies aimed at supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now standard in public procurement. Interest in these policies has yet to be matched by evidence on their implementation. Using an institutional perspective, we examine the extent to which public buyers have complied with SME-friendly policy recommendations. The results, which are based on the self-reported behaviours of 436 respondents, show that public buyers are complying with some but not all policy measures. Compliance is high on measures including open tendering, provision of feedback, and self-declaring financial capacity but low on measures which impose higher transaction costs, such as dividing contracts into lots and encouraging consortium bidding. Further analysis reveals that involvement in procurement, policy familiarity, and perceived importance of SME access act as positive predictors of compliance; being part of a semi-state/utility company, local authority or education institution has the opposite effect. Possibilities to increase compliance and bring about a more SME-friendly tendering system are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: Public procurement SMEs policy implementation compliance
Additional Information: Released with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License (CC BY-NC-ND)
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0263-774X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 11 January 2021
Date of Acceptance: 17 December 2015
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 06:39

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