P17 Public procurement and contracting in a hybrid world

Corresponding chair

Dr. Rianne Warsen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Nederlands, warsen@essb.eur.nl

Review Group Chair

Dr. Benjamin Brunjes, University of Washington, USA


Dr. Jolien Grandia, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Nederlands, grandia@essb.eur.nl


Procurement and contracting have become essential in public organizations as ways to manage partnerships and structure hybrid governance. In the tradition of New Public Management, public procurement and contracting initially involved fulfilling an internal need. Nowadays, public procurement involves the collaborative creation of public value. This shift has implications for public procurement and contracting processes, altering the ways public buyers and sellers interact, work to create public value, and navigate hybrid governance and management structures. 

In this panel we welcome papers that investigate public procurement and contracting in a hybrid world, particularly papers on collaborative public procurement, relational contracting, and cross-sectoral management. We welcome papers using a variety of theories and all sorts of methodologies, including systematic literature reviews and meta studies. Possible topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • The changing nature of procurement and contracting practices in public organizations around the world, including topics such as shifting central values, process changes, the use of e-procurement and artificial intelligence in contracting, and innovations in hybridity.
  • The ways procurement and contracting have affected public organizations and their partners, including organizational behavior, power dynamics, political influence, accountability, and performance.
  • The management of cross-sectoral partnerships, including contracts and negotiations between governments and their public, private, and nonprofit partners.
  • Ethics in public contracting and procurement under hybridity, including commitments, fraud and corruption, reputation and public perceptions, and similar topics.
  • The drivers and barriers to successful contracting, procurement, and (public-private) partnerships between governments, businesses, and nonprofits.
  • The design and management of public procurement processes and contracts to govern collaboration between buyers and sellers, with a specific focus on recent developments, like the involvement of citizens in public contracting, sustainable public procurement, or the transition to a circular economy.
  • The skills and capacities of government procurement and contract managers required for effective contract management and partnerships, especially considering the hybrid world in which public organizations function.
  • Equity in public procurement and contracting, including programs benefiting small or disadvantaged businesses, the involvement of people with limited access to the labor market, sustainable and green procurement, and fair working conditions along the supply chain. We are interested in papers on the management and performance of procurement equity, as well as papers that can link equity to other topics listed in the call for abstracts.
  • Papers that advance on existing theoretical work, including predominant theories (transactions costs economics, agency theory, resource dependence, etc.) or identify new theories to help explain aspects of public procurement and contracting.

Authors will present accepted papers in thematic panel sessions, and discussants will be appointed to ensure relevant feedback. Panel session chairs will also formulate more overarching insights and challenges to broader discussions around these main categories and themes. We plan to explore opportunities for a special issue in a public management or public procurement journal, and will connect with the ASPA Section on Procurement and Contract Management (SPCM) to strengthen broader collaboration