Procurement strategy formation: (re-)designing rail infrastructure project alliances

Henrico Plantinga*, André Dorée

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the reasoning behind the development of new procurement approaches by public sector clients. Design/methodology/approach – A case study approach focuses on a procurement development process by a public sector client. It investigates the reasoning behind various applications of the project alliancing concept in rail infrastructure projects over a period of 15 years. Alliancing applications are singled out and mapped against a number of criteria derived from literature on alliancing. The reasoning behind these applications and their differences are reconstructed from contextual documentation. Theories and concepts from the fields of strategic management and knowledge management literature are used to analyse the results. Findings – The development process seems to be evolutionary rather than deliberately planned. The uncovered variations in alliancing applications can only to a very limited extent be explained by the reconstructed reasoning. This suggests that the applied designs are mostly based on implicit reasoning by individual project teams. From a strategic management perspective, the development pattern resembles the emergent type of strategy formation. Originality/value – This study offers an initial insight into the reasoning processes behind the (re-)design of procurement approaches within a public sector client organization. A unique feature of this study is that these reasoning processes are explored from the strategy formation perspective that conceptually links the design of new procurement approaches to strategic management theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)53-73
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational journal of managing projects in business
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2016


    • Project alliancing
    • Public procurement


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