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Commissioning for social value and voluntary sector organisations: tensions in implementation

posted on 2021-12-09, 11:09 authored by Cristina MititeluCristina Mititelu
Commissioning for social value and voluntary sector organisations: tensions in implementation - fieldwork interview data

The thesis contributes to the understanding of the commissioning for social value between local contracting authorities and voluntary sector organisations in England. The analysis focuses on the front line workers in commissioning public services embedding social value in light of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012. The study uses a qualitative explorative case study methodology. The data represents the semi-structured interviews collected during 2018. The empirical data has been gathered during two phases of fieldwork.

In the first phase, the semi-structured interviews, anonymised with the acronym (IP), involved a broad range of participants (e.g. consultants, strategy officers, commissioners, VSOs project managers) engaged with commissioning and procurement processes.


IP1, Director of Social Enterprise (F)

IP3, Consultant (M)

IP6, Executive Director of Social Enterprise (ex-chief executive/senior officer)(M)

IP7, Social Enterprise Consultant (M)

IP8 (CC1), Local Authority Commissioner (M)

IP10, Infrastructure Organization Manager (M)

IP12, Senior Public Services Researcher (M)

IP13 (CB1), Senior Strategy Officer (Charities)(M)

IP14, Director (Charity)(M)

IP15, Procurement Manager(F)

IP19, Local Authority Strategy Officer for VSOs supply chain (F)

The quotation code IP1 identifies an interviewee’s response as follows.

IP1 = Interview participant 1;

IP8 (CC) = Interview participant 8, a commissioner in a local authority who participated in Case C (CC). This participant was interviewed in the first phase of the data collection;

M/F= refers to gender (male/female).

In the second phase, the semi-structured interviews, anonymised with the acronym (CA, CB, CC), involved three cases of local authorities. In the commissioning process, the participants occupied a range of front-line institutional roles (e.g. procurement officers, commissioners, senior officers, VSOs project managers and executive directors).


CA6 (LA), Manager (M)

CA11 (VSO), Manager(F)

CB4 (VSO),Executive Director CVS(M)

CB6 (LA), Procurement Manager (M&F)

CB7 (LA), Manager (F)

CB8 (LA),VSO Strategy Manager (M)

CB9 (LA),Commissioner (M)

CB10 (LA),Senior Officer (F)

CC1 (LA)(IP8),Commissioner (M)


The coding of CA, CB and CC refers to the following three case, respectively:

CA = Case 1

CB = Case 2

CC = Case 3

The quotation code CA1 (LA) identifies a participant’s response as follows.

CA = Case 1

CA 1(LA) = A participant from a local authority;

CA 10(VSO) = A participant from the voluntary sector;

M/F= refers to gender (male/female).


Anthony Nutt PhD Researcher, Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership


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