The Electronic Journal of e-Government publishes perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation and management of e-Government

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Journal Issue
Volume 5 Issue 1 / Jun 2007  pp1‑95

Editor: Frank Bannister

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Organisational Pre‑Conditions for e‑Procurement in Governments: the Italian Experience in the Public Health Care Sector  pp1‑10

Francesco Bof, Pietro Previtali

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Often e‑Procurement systems are implemented because authorities' guidelines, tools or legal setting mandates them. The growing relevance of e‑Procurement systems and tools in public health care organisations (HCOs) has raised much attention in business practice and the academic literature, also related to the improvement of public health care services and community welfare (e.g. Henriksen et al., EU Directives 17‑182004). The aim of this paper is to explore organisational requirements that a HCO must meet in order to successfully implement an e‑Procurement system, in terms of organisational culture, managerial skills, human resource management and capabilities to manage inter organisational relationships and IT infrastructures. We focused our investigation on the Italian Health Care Sector managed by the public in a complex environment. According to an interpretive approach, we conducted a case study research on 33 Italian public HCOs, both hospitals and local health care services, through a series of in‑depth interviews to those departments responsible for procurement. In Italy, in spite of the efforts by both Governments and the EU, it seems the adoption of e‑Procurement has not taken off. The results show a) a lack of organisational requirements which don't allow exploitation of ICT opportunities in the procurement processes, b) HCOs have not however considered organisational requirements in e‑Procurement implementation processes; this has led to a sub‑optimal adoption of e‑ Procurement systems and c) inadequacy of IT infrastructure. The implications of our research are that e‑Procurement diffusion and success must be anticipated by a deep analysis of the organisational requirements that can improve HCOs consciousness of how develop an e‑Procurement system aligned with their processes and organisations. 


Keywords: HCOs, public procurement, e-Procurement, organisational requirements


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