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Paper info: Early buyer-supplier interaction in public procurement context: dyadic perceptions


Early buyer-supplier interaction in public procurement context: dyadic perceptions


Anne Holma
Hanken School of Economics
Anne Holma

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 35th IMP-conference in Paris, France in 2019.


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Relationships are seen to develop as the product of interaction and exchanges between the counterparts. During the past years, academics have paid considerable attention to interaction in the context of long-term buyer-supplier relationships. However, interaction related to first time and short-term exchange has received limited attention. Interaction in the public procurement context is typically transactional due to strict regulations and legal requirements. Furthermore, public sector actors are claimed to be inexperienced in developing relationships with private companies, and the focus is often on price. Yet, price-oriented purchasing strategies are not always fruitful when suppliers that are limited in availability and with suppliers that create competitive advantages for their customer. Public buyers have recently been encouraged to interact with the suppliers before the competitive tendering. Early interaction with potential suppliers can increase the chances of finding cost effective solutions and creating an environment of trust that can facilitate the realization of opportunities. In this study, we explore buyer-supplier interaction in the early phases of the procurement process, focusing on two separate phases: pre-tender phase, and contract implementation. In the pre-tender phase, interaction occurs between the buyer and potential suppliers, and there is no product or service exchange. Contract implementation implies interaction between the buyer and selected suppliers, and takes place before the final signing of the contract.