Employment requirements in Swedish construction procurement: Institutional perspectives
Journal article, 2018
Purpose - Today social procurement, and requirements to create employment for disadvantaged groups in particular, are increasingly used in the construction sector. The purpose of this study is to explore the use of employment requirements and its organizational implications in Sweden, and to suggest a possible theoretical approach for studying this phenomenon in the future. Design/methodology/approach - The paper is based on written sources describing influential Swedish cases where employment requirements have been used, as well as on interviews with central actors in industry and society. Findings - Due to the increased use of employment requirements, the construction industry may currently be experiencing the initial stages of a process of institutional change. This implies that a traditional logic, where value is perceived as a function of the cost and quality of the physical product, is increasingly co-existing and competing with a logic where social value plays an important role. Practical implications - An institutional perspective could enable a rich explication of processes, practices and roles, which might help individual practitioners and organizations to more purposefully work towards a more informed and effective use of employment requirements. Originality/value - This study takes a first step towards increased theorization of the emergent practice of including employment requirements in construction procurement and its organizational implications. Thereby, research on this phenomenon may be more closely related to and informed by relevant developments in the wider academic community.