Managing Supplier Relationship in a Typical Public Procurement Entity in Ghana

Read this article. The idea is to determine ways of managing supplier relations in order to improve procurement performance. After reading this article, what is your own definition of supplier relations?


In collecting data from the study's sample, questionnaires were administered to the staffs of the procurement units of public tertiary institutions in Ghana. However, in order to ascertain broader scope of data gathered, interview sessions were conducted with key personnel of the units. Hence, both descriptive and inferential statistics tools were employed in analysing the data gathered. Even though the study sought to investigate public institutions in Ghana, it narrowed the scope to cover two public institution to make inference for related institutions. These were Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Cape Coast Technical University (CCTU). Although there were many stakeholders for procurement of these institutions, the study primarily focused on just the staff of the procurement units who had requisite knowledge of their number and characteristics of suppliers, the procurement pattern of the institutions, the performance of the procurement units in order to do a better evaluation.

However, to prevent instances of researcher bias in the process of data collection, the researchers used respondents who are knowledgeable and understood the details of the items used to measure the concepts and able to provide objective responses to the data collections tools. The respondent group identified comprised workforce who had a minimum of secondary education and have worked in the procurement unit or have experience in supplier relationship management or procurement in general for at least 2 years. The study population comprised of the following sections – Head section, Tendering section, Stores Account section, Evaluation section, Local Purchase Order (LPO) section, Stores A and B, Contract Management Section and Correspondent section, totaling to a number of seventy (70) respondents from two public entities in Ghana. Because of the relatively small population size of the two selected institutions, a sample was not taken, however a purposive sampling technique was convenient and appropriate for this study as purposive sampling is the most convenient method for the collection of members of the population that are near and readily available for research purposes.

Measures and their Operationalizatio

The items on the questionnaire were developed by basing on insights from extant literature regarding the subject matter. They were in different forms including 5-Point Likert scale questions ranging from 1=Strongly Disagree through 3=Neither Agree nor Disagree to 5=Strongly Agree on best strategies of managing supplier relationships that brings value for money in public procurement, benefits of supplier relationship management and challenges of supplier relationship management. In addition, there were other multiple-thought and dual-thought questions as the case may be with some open-ended questions as well.

The open ended items were grouped based on the responses given by the respondents. The items were coded using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Descriptive statistics indicating frequencies and percentages were used to present the results in figurative form. Some statistical tools were adopted by the researchers for analyzing the data for the study. The table or percentage approaches to the data analysis were chosen because they are convenient, reliable, simple and economical to deal with by the researcher and also user friendly. The table and diagrams will clearly display the result of the findings numerals that can be easily pictured and understood by any ordinary person who takes a look of the presentation.