Procuring Service Innovations – Contractor Selection for Partnering Projects.
Journal article, 2007
Collaborative inter-organizational relationships often require new skills and sometimes also new attitudes from those involved. Contractor procurement for partnering projects differs from most contractor procurement in two related ways: that the service procured is partly new to many contractors and that this service is strongly related to skills, dispositions and commitment of individuals. In more traditional contractor procurement non-price criteria are often assessed on the basis of past performance, and most research has dealt with the selection phase. The aim of this study is to show how procurement practice is influenced by goals of innovation and collaboration, and to discuss implications for the spreading of new practice in this area. The study is based on a review of public clients’ bid documents from Swedish partnering projects as well as on interviews with the clients. The collaboration content led to a focus on assessing attitudes and teamwork potential of individuals, but past performance information was downplayed. It is concluded that tools and procurement advice for relationship contracting should have a development focus and be designed to involve local competence on both sides. Also, procurement in this context should involve a conscious effort to inspire change and commitment among potential bidders.