Lessons in procuring complex services

Wendy Van Der Valk*, Finn Wynstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter shares some practical insights regarding the procurement of complex services. These lessons have been derived from our investigation of ongoing interactions between buyers and sellers of various kinds of business services. The study spanned ongoing buyer-seller interaction in forty service purchases, ranging from cleaning to marketing services, and from project management to oil drilling services. This wide variety of cases resulted in potentially useful insights in how to purchase various kinds of services. Specifi cally, the study focuses on what is going to happen after the contract has been signed: It is here that buyer and seller have to jointly make it a success. This focus also resonates strongly with the observations made elsewhere in this book with regard to procuring complex performance (PCP): PCP involves an increased emphasis on relational mechanisms and continuing interactions that work alongside traditional contractual mechanisms. These mechanisms aim at aligning buyer and seller for better performance, reducing complexity, and unlocking innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcuring Complex Performance
Subtitle of host publicationStudies of Innovation in Product-Service Management
EditorsNick Caldwell, Mickey Howard
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISBN (Print)9780203842058
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


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