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Paper info: STEPPING TOWARDS PUBLIC SERVICE LOGIC – CASE STUDY ON DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES IN INNOVATIVE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

Title


STEPPING TOWARDS PUBLIC SERVICE LOGIC – CASE STUDY ON DYNAMIC CAPABILITIES IN INNOVATIVE PUBLIC PROCUREMENT

Authors


Hannu Torvinen

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 34th IMP-conference in Marseille, France in 2018.

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Abstract


The present case study examines the key dynamic capabilities needed by public procurement units choosing to apply innovative public procurement measures in their purchasing decisions. The means of innovative public procurement change how suppliers are being invited to supply pre-existing solutions in an improved way and open up for new actors such as citizen communities to be more engaged in the purchasing process. Dynamic capabilities refer to the organization’s abilities to adapt their competences and resources in transition to new rapidly changing environments like the latter. Furthermore, the study takes a stand on the broader issue of public service organizations’ (PSOs’) transformation from traditional service providers into managing collaborative relationships where value is co-created in interaction with service endusers. Regardless of who produces the public service or owns the public property, according to public service logic (PSL), it is the service user who unavoidably creates the performance and value of the public service and whose actions should be the locus of interest. Former research on public procurement has studied, for instance, the crucial operational capabilities for public procurement of innovation (PPI) and synthesized the general concept of dynamic capabilities within public management. The core purpose of present study is to increase understanding on what advances the learning of individual public servants adopting an innovative approach on the purchasing of public services and properties. The findings are based on 25 semi-structured interviews, participant observation and documentation data on the key individuals carrying out innovative school procurement in northern Finland. To analyze the development of operational capabilities by the studied public servants, longitudinal case data was gathered in the two consecutive procurement cases during three year intensive research period. The key findings of the study reassert the existing evidence on both the deployment of dynamic capabilities by public sector organizations and operational capabilities needed by the procuring PSO. The study’s added research propositions suggest learning-by-doing and alliancing as the key dynamic capabilities needed for successful transition and organization-wide experimental culture as the crucial enabler for capability deployment. In addition, the results strongly demonstrate that the development of innovative procurement practices is not restricted by the size and resources of the procurer. Conceptually, study offers a novel exploratory view on capability development within public procurement context. Furthermore, more research is needed on public procurement relationships with end-user’s actions and capabilities instead of the procuring PSO or supplier as the focus point.