Developing an innovative procurement framework through an evaluation of practitioners' engagement with procurement tools in the delivery of firm performance.
This thesis evaluates academic knowledge surrounding the procurement process frameworks deployed by firms and used by practitioners to guide them in securing supply contracts for their firms. The research identifies knowledge gaps relating to the use of these frameworks and their transition from academic knowledge into practice. The thesis discusses how the end to end procurement process frameworks, in combination with internal and external relationships, support the delivery of procurement performance to the firm, thus enhancing firm performance. It achieves this through a two-stage qualitative methodology; initially, through a procurement practitioner survey, which evaluates their technical understanding of four tools identified in the literature, as prevalent in procurement academic discussion judged by longevity, relevance and frequency, as well as their transition into practice. Secondly, practitioner interviews use phenomenological techniques to consider how the phenomena of their frameworks and tools impact their delivery of procurement services. In parallel, a firm executive forum investigates the perspectives of business leaders in relation to their procurement functions, and their contribution to the performance of the firm. The analysis identifies that academia is unconvinced of the transition of procurement from a tactical to a strategically aligned function. This results in an academic knowledge base which is limited and derivative in nature. It focuses on niche elements of the procurement process and a limited toolset; with little evidence of the transition of this discourse into practice. In practice, procurement functions demonstrate tactical orientations, this constrains internal business alignment. The research indicates that practitioners understand the need for frameworks and tools but complete them through a sense of compliance. This research synthesis a new procurement process framework for discussion within academia and practice, building on previous knowledge, whilst providing a framework for practitioner adoption. Greater practice adoption will provide new avenues of research to inform academic development.
- School of Management