Thesis defence Frank Steller

15 October 2019 14:30 till 18:00 - Location: Aula, TU Delft - By: Communication

On Tuesday 15 October, Frank Steller will defend his thesis ‘Rules or Rapport? On the governance of supplier-customer relationships with initial asymmetry’. The defence will take place at 15:00 in the TU Delft's Aula. The public lecture will start at 14:30.

After more than 35 years of working experience, which includes 8 years as CPO at Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways), Frank Steller will defend his PhD research into improving tender processes. “When I’ll defend my thesis, I will take the next step in my academic career.  I consider the years I worked in the field almost as an intermediary internship, permitting me to obtain valuable experience in the field”, says Frank. “With my research, I tried to answer the question of: How can it be that, even with all these carefully constructed procedures, things still can go so wrong?”

His research led him to case-studies of tenders of services by a number of utility companies. Frank: “These companies often are monopolists in their market, or at least a major player. I wanted to see how these organizations and their suppliers could improve the tender process and the governance of their resulting relationship.”

In his thesis, Frank notes several findings on the relationships, attitudes and behaviours of both the ‘supplier’ of the service and the utility company as the ‘customer’. “By recommending improvements to these variables and charting early warning signs, I hope to contribute to effective public procurement. Governments and public utilities and their suppliers can professionally start and develop their relationship without compromising the leading principles of public procurement. And legislators should clear the wood from the trees, reducing their Regulations to the principles.”

Frank's promoter is Prof. Sicco Santema and his copromoter is Dr Fleur Deken.