Getting innovations out of interactions in the public procurement context
Journal article, 2020

The purpose of this paper is to discuss how a seller can use interactions to respond to public procurement needs for innovation when the buying side is restricted by public procurement regulations.

The authors collected data using qualitative semi-structured interviews of different empirical examples, in which private-public interactions of four different high-technological products are studied. Two products belong to the defence industry and two to the civil industry.

The findings point to three types of innovations in public procurement: product, service and business model. The empirical examples further indicate, as suggested in previous studies, that innovation is hindered by regulations that limit interaction between suppliers and the public. In addition, the empirical examples indicate that firms mobilize actors in their network when the buyer is restricted in regard to interaction. The findings also add to the IMP literature by comparing interactions in the three types of innovations in the public procurement context.

Public procurement is an area where innovations are lagging behind, compared with private procurement. Research points to limited interaction between actors as an obstacle to innovation in public sector collaborations. This paper extends the literature on how organizations interact in the setting of public procurement. The authors identify demand and supply triggers for three types of innovations: product, service and business model innovation.

Public procurement

Public sector interactions

Procurement of innovation

Complex technologies

Collaborative innovation


Lisa Melander

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Ala Pazirandeh Arvidsson

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Supply and Operations Management

Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing

0885-8624 (ISSN)

Vol. 35 12 2051-2065

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Business Administration

Driving Forces

Innovation and entrepreneurship



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