research-report-96-coming-clean-contractual-and-procurement-practices.doc

With the specific needs of a client in mind quite

Info icon This preview shows pages 19–21. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
with the specific needs of a client in mind, quite likely under pressure from the client organisation, then the supplier workforce may benefit where this entails the development of an extended skill-set, coordinated career paths across organisations or a shared benefits package for example. However, the experience may be negative where the client has negotiated a tight financial margin on the contract leading to downwards pressure on pay, or where the client specifies a key performance 5
Image of page 19

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
COMING CLEAN: CONTRACTUAL AND PROCUREMENT PRACTICES indicator that can only be met through highly flexible staffing arrangements leading the supplier to make excessive use of agency workers or zero hours contracts for example. Even when the experience for the workforce is good, it can still create divisions and resentments within the supplier’s overall workforce among those not benefitting from the better conditions required by a specific client (Scarbrough, 2000; Rubery et al., 2004). Much depends on the gap in quality of employment practices and conditions between client and supplier, as well as the willingness of the client to use procurement as a mechanism to exploit or bridge the gap. One method to bridge the gap is that of ‘obliged job quality’ in contractual practices, which involves the client organisation specifying core HR practices or employment conditions during one or more stages of the procurement process. Examples include the inclusion of a living wage clause in procurement, a preference for certain training standards among bidding contractors, or obliging the adoption of equality practices and health and safety standards. Such actions are usually undertaken out of a concern for corporate social responsibility, or under trade union and/or community pressure (Bibby, 2011; Wright and Brown, 2013). There is no requirement under British law for the client organisation to concern itself with the employment arrangements of a supplier’s workforce, other than the kind of responsibility it would assume for visitors or customers to its premises. 2 Alternatively, where a supplier organisation applies a standard raft of HR practices consistently to its workforce regardless of the requirements of a particular client or the specifications of a contract, again subcontracted workers may or may not benefit from the approach. On the one hand, standard company-wide conditions may protect those subcontracted workers at the wrong end of a tightly negotiated contract that would otherwise fuel low pay and insecure employment. A supplier policy that ruled out zero-hours contracts for example might enable it to build a reputation as a reputable employer and possibly encourage innovation in sophisticated forms of working-time scheduling that might be attractive to clients that value their brand as a decent site of employment. Moreover, standardised company employment practices may lessen the risks of ‘lock-in’ caused by over-investment in client skills and
Image of page 20
Image of page 21
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern