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Bengtsson, S H and Rosander, L (2018) Public clients' possibilities to initiate sustainable change: exploring two Swedish clients' procurement strategies. In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2018, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 424–434.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: Change Agents; Procurement Strategies; Public Clients; Sustainability
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-2-5
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/066ed126eff8f75e71ea639acf771f1f.pdf
The issue of sustainability in the construction sector is a public matter; governments and municipalities have high ambitions of decreasing their environmental impact. Therefore, it is important to further explore the ability of public clients to embed sustainable changes in the industry. The ability for clients to initiate and support change in the construction industry is currently discussed; even though clients are suggested to have power to enforce change their competence, resources and motives to support such a change is often questioned. The aim of this paper is to add to the discussion on clients as change agents, focusing on public clients. With environmental policy research as it starting point, the paper explores if and how public clients can be agents of sustainable changes with focus on their procurement strategies as a tool to implement change. Case studies from one Swedish municipality and from the Swedish Transport Administration – where the procurement strategies were partly intended as mean of change – is analysed from public clients’ possibilities as change agents. Tentative findings indicate that public clients’ procurement strategies have effect on how change is implemented and embedded throughout the construction process. Including sustainability aspects in policies used when procuring does not seem to be enough to embed sustainability change, public clients’ ability as change agents should also be taken into account. Practical implications include increasing the awareness for clients to choose procurement strategies from their capabilities as change agents.