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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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A gathering storm? Re-tendering and the voluntary sector workforce

Cunningham, Ian and Nickson, Dennis (2011) A gathering storm? Re-tendering and the voluntary sector workforce. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 24 (7). pp. 662-672. ISSN 0951-3558

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Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to consider the impact of the European Union procurement regulations. It assesses the impact of the re-tendering of services on the terms and conditions of employment and sense of well being, and commitment of employees in the social care sub-sector of the voluntary sector. Design/methodology/approach – The study employs a qualitative study of three organisations utilising semi-structured interviews with managers and employees. Findings – The process of re-tendering is creating intensified competition and the breakdown of co-operation between voluntary sector organisations. Re-tendering also has an impact on employee terms and conditions with related problems arising with regard to their morale and commitment. Research limitations/implications – This remains a relatively small-scale piece of research and there is also scope to consider how these issues are played out in private, as well as voluntary sector organisations. Practical implications – The research highlights the potential tensions between creating greater competition and a search for value for money in the tendering and re-tendering of services on voluntary organisations' raison d'être and the sense of commitment of employees. Originality/value – There is little research examining the human resource aspects of re-tendering and this research provides an important step in surfacing a number of emergent issues for how voluntary organisations manage the people dimension of the re-tendering process.