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John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


This article investigates a hybrid procurement mechanism that combines a reverse auction with flexible noncompetitive contracts. A buyer adopts such mechanism to procure multiple units of a product from a group of potential suppliers. Specifically, the buyer first offers contracts to some suppliers who, if accepting the contract, do not participate in the auction while committing to selling a unit to the buyer at the price of the subsequent auction. For the suppliers rejecting the offers, they can join the subsequent auction with the other suppliers to compete on the remaining units. When the buyer offers only one flexible noncompetitive contract, we find that the selected supplier may accept the offer regardless of whether he knows his exact cost information. Meanwhile, the buyer can benefit from offering such a contract, as opposed to solely conducting a regular reverse auction or offering a noncompetitive contract that does not allow suppliers declining offers to join the subsequent auction. Moreover, we find that the suppliers' information about their own costs has a significant impact on the buyer's decision. When the buyer makes multiple offers, we analyze the resulting game behavior of the selected suppliers and demonstrate that the buyer can benefit more than just offering one such contract. Therefore, the hybrid procurement mechanism can be mutually beneficial for both the buyer and the selected suppliers.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Zhou, S. X., Tao, Z., Zhang, N., & Cai, G. (George). (2016). Procurement with Reverse Auction and Flexible Noncompetitive Contracts. Decision Sciences, 47(3), 554–581. , which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.



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