Antecedents and Consequences of Federal Bid Protests

Report Number: SYM-AM-15-105

Series: Contract Management

Category: Contracting Strategies

Report Series: Symposium Proceedings

Authors: Tim Hawkins, Michael Gravier, E. Cory Yoder

Title: Antecedents and Consequences of Federal Bid Protests

Published: 2015-04-01

Sponsored By: Acquisition Research Program

Status: Published--Unlimited Distribution

Research Type: Other Research Faculty

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Keywords: Proceedings, Thursday Sessions, Vol. 2, Symposium


The fear of receiving a bid protest is said to affect acquisition strategies, yet it has not been empirically explored. Based on the Public Value Framework and interviews with contracting personnel, this research tests a model of antecedents to and consequences of the fear of a protest. Survey data was obtained from a sample of 350 contracting personnel. The fear of protest is mitigated by having sufficient procurement lead time and by source selection competence, and increased by protest risk. Fear of protest increases compromised technical evaluations, added procurement lead time, and transaction costs, while it decreases contracting officer authority and is associated with source selection method inappropriateness. Compromised technical evaluations, in turn, decrease contractor performance while contracting officer authority increases contractor performance. Thus, findings suggest that fear of protests affect acquisition strategy decisions, which, in turn, affect contractor performance. The research concludes with several managerial implications, study limitations, and future research directions.