Competition and market solutions
PUMAR Research Area
For the last two decades there has been a clear shift towards the use of market mechanisms within in public organizations. By introducing markets structures and competition the ambition is to deal with the problems of ensuring quality and making both ends meet financially in the public organizations.
The PUMAR research covers several aspects of these topics. One main stream of studies deals with the use of markets as an internal governance structure with purchasers and providers within the public organization. However history shows that there is also a growing number of external suppliers taking larger and larger part of the supply. Therefore an important issue is the role of external (private) supplier and their interaction with public entities. Traditionally the use of competitive tendering has been frequent. However, in some sectors the last few years have been characterized by competition in customers’ choice systems. In total, there is a great variety of different ways to introduce management techniques based on the use of market mechanisms.
In the PUMAR research program about competition and market mechanisms we are continuously evaluating and monitoring these ambitions, how they are implemented and the outcome of using market structures for public sector supply. What are the effects for the responsible public authority and what strategies can be applied to make these systems work. The program also covers the situation of the suppliers and the conditions for these to establish sound and working operations for the benefit of the responsible public authority.
From a theoretical standpoint many different approaches are used such as public management, competitive tendering, New Public Management (NPM) and New Public Governance. Empirically, the studies rely mostly on empirical data from local government organizations, i.e. municipalities and county councils (healthcare). However occasionally also other sectors are included.