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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Is public procurement efficiency conditioned by market types? A critical test in park and road sectors in Sweden

Bretzer, Ylva Norén; Persson, Bengt; Randrup, Thomas


Purpose to perceived resource cuts in the Swedish park and road sectors.– The purpose of this paper is to investigate to what extent contracting out practices has led Design/methodology/approach the municipalities. Response rate: 39.7 percent.– E-survey sent to managers in park and technical departments in Findings 20 percent of park departments. 49 percent of the road departments responded– Decreased costs were found in 25 percent of the responding road departments, in“no change” or “increase” (48 percent parks). Findings indicate that tendering practices tend to be most commonly centered in Swedish municipalities situated in the three metropolitan regions (Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö with suburbs), while such practices are not as common in mid-sized and rural municipalities. In addition, contracting out practices correspond with higher per capita budgets, not with smaller. Research limitations/implications occur expensive, or, contracting out is combined with other provision models. The limitation of the data are that it based on managers– The research implications are that contracting out tend to“where the resources are,” while poorer municipalities either have to contract even if it is more’ perceptions, while hard data have been impossible to map. Practical implications to be conditioned with context, and initial resources at hand. Contracting out is one option among several possible strategies, especially for mid-sized and smaller municipalities with small budgets.– The uniform assumption that contracting out saves public resources need Social implications market situations and local the budget capacities.– The rationalities of local government procurements are bounded by the local Originality/value road contexts.– This is the first study of manager’s perceptions in the Swedish park and road contexts.


Market structure; Contracting out; Cost-efficiency; Local park management; Local road management; Metropolitan municipalities

Published in

International Journal of Public Sector Management
2016, volume: 29, number: 5, pages: 488-501

Authors' information

Bretzer, Ylva Norén
University of Gothenburg
Persson, Bengt
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG9 Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Administration Studies

Publication Identifiers


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