Abstract/Details

The politics of competitive sourcing: Cost savings, transaction costs, trade-offs and traditional public values


2005 2005

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation examined the impact of costs savings on public-private competitions and the underlying forces driving competitive sourcing policy. This research is significant because it challenged the assumption of thirty percent savings when conducting a standard public-private competition. Also important is that this dissertation closely analyzed whether cost savings was the primary force driving competitive sourcing policy.

The methodology used in this dissertation was a mixed model, which employed both quantitative analyses and qualitative interviewing. The quantitative model analyzed data on public-private competitions conducted on commercial activities in the Department of Defense from 1979–1994. This analysis also included transaction costs that accounted for contract support and government administration involved in the competitive sourcing process. The qualitative interviews asked two groups of federal government personnel questions regarding their agency experiences with competitive sourcing policy. The first group consisted of personnel directly involved in the implementation of competitive sourcing. The second group included Competitive Sourcing Officials (CSOs) or their designated agency representative(s). Additionally there was a historical content analysis that examined both the evolution of public values through government contracting and the development of competitive sourcing policy.

The findings from this dissertation indicate three overarching themes. First, transaction costs matter and may dramatically impact the amount of cost savings produced through competitive sourcing. Second, the thirty percent cost savings figure reported in a number of studies could not be replicated, but it should be noted that savings did occur on a much smaller scale. Third, cost savings are not the only force driving competitive sourcing policy. Politics, public values and competing organizational goals have also played an active role in the development of competitive sourcing. A tangential theme of some importance was the representation of cost savings as a public value. Overall this research allows for a better understanding of the transaction costs, trade-offs and politics involved in the federal government's competitive sourcing policy.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Public administration;
Economics;
Law;
Cost reduction;
Public sector;
Private sector;
Competition;
Sourcing;
Models;
Studies
Classification
0617: Public administration
0501: Economics
0398: Law
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; Competitive sourcing; Cost savings; Public values; Trade-offs; Traditional values; Transaction costs
Title
The politics of competitive sourcing: Cost savings, transaction costs, trade-offs and traditional public values
Author
Diehl, Glen
Number of pages
346
Publication year
2005
Degree date
2005
School code
0008
Source
DAI-A 66/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780542234859, 0542234858
Advisor
Rosenbloom, David H.
University/institution
American University
University location
United States -- District of Columbia
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3182553
ProQuest document ID
305026008
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305026008
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