Competing agendas in public procurement

David Pickernell, Gary Packham, Christopher Miller, Adrian Kay

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Erridge (2009) argues that current procurement policy in the UK is an uneasy mixture of several policy legacies. The enduring and dominant one stresses on cost efficiencies and value-for-money in government spending. This competes with ambitions to frame public procurement as central to innovation policy and, in a related agenda, as a critical instrument in local and regional economic development strategies. Despite different policy-makers' attention to this important element in governing capacity, quantitative analyses of which types and location of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) benefit from different levels of government as a customer are still rare in the UK (and indeed more widely across the EU). This paper is timely in being addressed to the task of providing a better empirical base for understanding the role of public procurement (at a range of government levels) in supporting SMEs in the UK. The results show very different patterns of procurement at the different tiers of government, both in terms of innovative SMEs supported through the provision of a market, but also across the range of the other factors highlighted above. Consequently, the procurement decisions made by these tiers of government are likely to have very differential impacts across the range of SME firm types and the economies in which they are located The empirical results reported in the paper, therefore allow us to judge what opportunities and limits there may be for future policy directions with regard to the use of public procurement.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr 2010
    Event International Research Society for Public Management Conference - Bern
    Duration: 7 Apr 20109 Apr 2010


    Conference International Research Society for Public Management Conference


    • innovation
    • public procurement
    • smes


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