Social procurement and employment requirements in construction
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Today social procurement, and requirements to create employment for disadvantaged groups in particular, are increasingly used in the construction sector. In Sweden, a growing interest in social procurement and employment requirements is partly due to problems with segregation and high unemployment rates among immigrants. As a result, many municipalities and landlords see opportunities to combine construction projects with employment opportunities for tenants. Simultaneously, prognoses state that building will be booming in Sweden the upcoming years, creating new drivers for the construction industry to search for new employees among new groups in society. However, research on the implementation and effects of social employment requirements on organizations in the construction sector is scarce and mainly descriptive. This paper aims to address this recent trend in construction procurement and the implications for the sector as well as for research. Previous research on social procurement and employment requirements in the construction industry and written material on three Swedish cases serve as a basis for the discussion. Findings suggest that the changes in the construction industry can be understood as an ongoing institutionalization process, where the institutional work of procurement- and construction actors are reshaping old institutional logics towards a more socially service-oriented sustainable industry.