Private sector organisations have embraced information and communication technologies, including e-procurement. The motivation for doing so has largely been increased efficiency, contributing to the enhancement of business excellence, and cost effectiveness. Public sector organisations have, in comparison, lagged behind and, in general, have been slow in adopting ICT. Management scholars have blamed the said tardiness on the organisational structure of public sector forms but have, nevertheless, argued the incontrovertible imperatives of the public sector's embracing the said technologies (Dent, Chandler and Barry, 2004). Concurring with the stated, this research will argue in favour of the public sector's adoption of e-procurement as a strategy for enhancing organisational efficiency and for embracing cost-effectiveness.
Management scholars have determined that public sector organisations are largely modelled after the traditional bureaucratic organisational structure, as influenced by Weber (Cane and Thurston, 2000; Dent, Chandler and Barry, 2004). The implication is that all of the four components of organisational structure-labour division, departmentalisation, span of control and scope of decision-making-are shaped by bureaucratic-traditionalist managerial theory. This, according to numerous management scholars, has only served to offset the capacity for flexible response to changing external conditions and has, in the long run, resulted in the formulation of mechanistic and atrophying organisations (Cane and Thurston, 2000; Flynn, 2002; Dent, Chandler and Barry, 2004).
As explained by Flynn (2002) among others, labour division within the public sector organisation is invariably highly specialised. Task specialisations are clearly articulated and each employee has a specific set of job functions, clearly set out in his/her job description, which he/she must operate by (Bourn and Bourn, 1995; Flynn, 2002). While the advantages of specialisation and clearly articulated job descriptions are practically too numerous to articulate, the disadvantages are enormous. Certainly specialisation implies that employees are often matched to jobs according to their skill-sets and explicit job descriptions mean that employees always have a clear understanding of the tasks they are required to perform and know the boundaries of their professional responsibilities (Bourn and Bourn, 1995; Flynn, 2002; Mctavish, 2004). Excessive specialisation, however, as is often the case with private sector organisations means that employees cannot function beyond the parameters of their jobs and are devoid of the proactive, problem-solving skills which are deemed integral to contemporary organisational success (Bourn and Bourn, 1995; Flynn, 2002; Mctavish, 2004). Quite simply, employees are confined to the limits of the skills that they brought with them upon joining the organisation, and on which basis they were hired, and their job descriptions.
As early as the 1960's, management