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A Decision Model for e-Procurement Decision Support Systems for the Public Sector Using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis

Adil, Mohamed (2015) A Decision Model for e-Procurement Decision Support Systems for the Public Sector Using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This PhD research aims to identify, analyse and evaluate a decision model for an e-procurement Decision Support System (DSS) for the public sector in Maldives, especially focusing on the Education Sector. The DSS uses Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) to evaluate procurement alternatives. The features and characteristics of public sector procurement are based on major public sector principles, such as non-discrimination, equality, transparency and proportionality. This results in an organised step-by-step procedure for public sector procurement. However, this research focuses only on decisions that are based on the performances of the suppliers against a pre-set list of criteria where MCDA is applied to the evaluation. This research studied the applicability of a comprehensive set of published MCDA methods identified in the literature to the problem context. The MCDA methods used in this research involves linear weighting methods, single synthesising criterion or utility theory, outranking methods, fuzzy methods and mixed methods. This research adopted the Design Science Research (DSR) methodology, which is intended to design an artefact. The artefact in this case is the decision model. The methodology provides the artefact, explains how to use it, and how to evaluate the artefact. As these three components are of prime importance for the research project, DSR is chosen. The methodology follows a set of specific guidelines provided by Information Systems (IS) research scholars for such IS research projects. To support the process steps of the research project, literature reviews of public sector procurement and MCDA were undertaken, field research of focus groups was carried out, and selected documented data on procurement evaluations were collected for performance analysis of the MCDA methods in context. The first part of the literature review provided the requirements and constraints of the public sector procurement in general and specifically in relation to Maldivian public sector. The second part of the literature review identified MCDA methods and their procedures and characteristics. The focus group discussions were conducted with public sector procurement evaluation officials of selected education institutions, to identify operational constraints and requirements of the procurement. Criteria-based evaluation was conducted on the characteristics of MCDA methods compared to the public sector requirements gathered through literature review and focus groups. This analysis was to identify the applicable MCDA methods based on public sector requirements. The analysis filtered only two applicable methods namely, TOPSIS (Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to an Ideal Solution) and COPRAS (COmplex PRoportional ASsessment). Finally, performance analysis was done on the two methods by applying real life procurement data collected from selected public sector institutions. Congruence/incongruence analysis, variance analysis, stability analysis and MCDA were performed based on the results of the two methods, with real life data. The performance analysis shows TOPSIS having higher variance and stability over COPRAS. However, congruence/incongruence analysis was inconclusive. Based on the results of criteria-based evaluation and performance analysis, MCDA was applied on TOPSIS and COPRAS. The current public sector procurement evaluation method, weighted sum and the two filtered methods are used for MCDA on TOPSIS and COPRAS. The MCDA also resulted in favour of TOPSIS. Therefore, based on this research, the recommended decision model for the public sector e-procurement DSS for the Maldivian context is TOPSIS. The major research outputs are the identification of public sector requirements in context, the characteristics of the majority of MCDA methods in context, and strengths of performance of TOPSIS and COPRAS. In addition, the research identified the suitable decision model for the context, a theory of use of it in the context of the Public Sector of the Maldives and a framework to identify and evaluate the decision model.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Mohamed Adil
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 16:19
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2015 16:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7796

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