Beyond Policies and Social Washing: How Social Procurement Unfolds in Practice
Journal article, 2020

Social procurement is increasingly used by organizations to create social value. An important feature of social procurement used to mitigate issues with social exclusion is employment requirements, which aim to create internships for unemployed marginalized people. However, little is known of their effects on people working at an operative level. Through 23 semi-structured interviews with practitioners in the Swedish construction and real estate sector, this paper adopts a practice lens to analyse the effects of employment requirements (ER). Findings show that practitioners must handle the tension between old and new practices, and strike a balance between fulfilling formal responsibilities and performing new practices on an ad hoc basis, and finding the time and resources to do so. Practitioners act as practice carriers for both traditional work tasks and new employment requirement practices, which can lead to role ambiguity. The paper provides novel details for how employment requirements unfold in practice. It also adds to practice theory by suggesting an important relational aspect between first-order, premeditated practices, and second-order, emergent practices, and how both types of practices are vital for working with employment requirements.

social sustainability

social value


practice theory

social procurement

employment requirements


construction and real estate sector


Daniella Troje

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Pernilla Gluch

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics


20711050 (eISSN)

Vol. 12 12 4956

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Business Administration

Environmental Sciences



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