The Science Of Public Procurement Management And Administration

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Basheka, Benon C.
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Charting a Course in Public Procurement Innovation and Knowledge Sharing
That public procurement as a field of academic research and a “lucrative” field of practice has increased over the last 10 years or so is now a matter beyond contention among policy makers and academics in both developed and developing nations. However, there are, in my view, unresolved issues that ought to form a nucleus of intellectual discourse among procurement practitioners if any hope of having a well-founded academic scientific discipline of public procurement management and administration is to have a firm foundation. Academics in both developed and developing countries may have “conceived the discipline but the baby is yet to be born.” We have serious paradigmatic challenges –disagreements on very fundamental issues related to the scientific foundation of a body of knowledge. Lack of an agreed upon locus and focus of public procurement research among the practitioners is too huge a gap to remain unattended to. Collectively, scholars need to move away from the “art” to the “science” of public procurement. Public procurement cannot claim to be a science without firm theoretical knowledge to guide researchers on the appropriate “focus and locus” of its subject matter. Adopting an interdisciplinary and comparative approach in analyzing public procurement systems, the discipline should identify the similarities and differences in procurement policies and practices.
Basheka, B. C. (2013). The science of public procurement management and administration. G. Luigi, Albano, KF Sneider & Thai KV (Eds.), Charting a Course in Public Procurement Innovation and Knowledge Sharing, 289-330.