Systematic review of 15 years of scientific literature on public procurement

Sandra Lange, Jan Telgen, Fredo Schotanus

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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    As public procurement research is fragmented in many sub-topics, a clear synthesis is lacking, which in turn inhibits the establishment of a clear body of knowledge. To start filling this gap, this systematic review provides an overview of the most influential literature in the field of public procurement. The findings are aimed at providing other researchers with relevant information to synthesize existing findings. We found that public procurement research is maturing, with increasing attention from diverse scientific disciplines. USA and UK are most productive publishers, while European countries have become increasingly active. Although a wide spectrum of research designs have been utilized, the reviewed articles focused on few. For example, although articles addressed twenty different topics, eleven were only studied once or twice, while 61.4% of papers researched the topic of procurement strategies. Considerable variations were observed across countries, indicating different research foci, as well as varying levels of maturity per research characteristic. Research seems to have underused existing scientific knowledge in that literature and meta-studies were only utilized in 13.2% and 5% of papers respectively. Practical applicability of research findings is inhibited by a detected imprecision of research, such as not specifying the procuring government level in 56.1% of reviewed papers. The overall conclusion with respect to the maturity level of public procurement research is that while various different paths have been laid, most researchers continued to walk the main roads. To develop the field further, we recommend to research the field from more diverse angles.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication6th International Public Procurement Conference (IPPC6)
    Subtitle of host publication14th-16th August 2014, Dublin
    Place of PublicationDublin, Ireland
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2014
    Event6th International Public Procurement Conference, IPPC 2014 - Dublin, Ireland
    Duration: 14 Aug 201416 Aug 2014
    Conference number: 6


    Conference6th International Public Procurement Conference, IPPC 2014
    Abbreviated titleIPPC


    • METIS-305844
    • IR-92297


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