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Professional judgement: an institutional logic approach to contractor tender pricing

Jefferies, D. and Schweber, L. (2022) Professional judgement: an institutional logic approach to contractor tender pricing. Buildings and Cities. MSS 204. ISSN 2362-6655 (In Press)

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Competitive tendering is the default procurement route for most types of construction projects in the UK. As a process, it is costly, time consuming and complex, involving input from upwards of 200 separate organizations per project (Laryea and Hughes, 2008). Existing research has mainly focused on identifying discrete factors that influence contractor pricing. While many scholars and professionals, treat the level of mark-up as a technical problem, others acknowledge the role of professional judgement. This paper uses theories of hybrid institutional logics to explore the ways in which professionals, with different competencies and ways of thinking, work together to produce a single price. Far from a random or idiosyncratic process, the research documents the existence of two distinct logics: a cost estimation and strategic mark-up. These are combined in a highly structured process, with moments of separation, bridging and demarcation. These findings explain how firms purposefully balance multiple cognitive schemas to manage resources and position themselves in the market. They also offer an insight into the ways in which firms manage multi-disciplinary project level collaboration more generally, thereby offering an alternative approach to integration.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:105980
Uncontrolled Keywords:Competitive tendering, contractor pricing, estimation, institutional logics, hybrid organizations, professional judgement
Publisher:Ubiquity press

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