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SMART Workshop in Oslo

Last week I participated in the SMART Workshop hosted by Marta Andhov (University of Copenhagen) and Roberto Caranta (University of Turin) and attended by Willem Janssen (University of Utrecht), Adam Gromnica (Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of the Czech Republic), Tim Stoffel (German Development Institute), Lela Mélon (University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), Roxana Vornicu (SIRBU Law), Jason Czarnezki (Pace University) and Olga Martin-Ortega (University of Greenwich).

Together we worked on proposals for the way forward in sustainable public procurement. With an international and multidisciplinary team of scholars and practitioners we worked in a collaborative style to draft recommendations to help sustainable public procurement reach its full potential. The report will be published soon.

 

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Doe mee met ons onderzoek!

Duurzaamheid is tegenwoordig een belangrijk thema bij veel organisaties. Vanuit de Erasmus Universiteit & Universiteit Gent onderzoeken wij daarom in hoeverre duurzaamheid een rol speelt bij het inkopen van goederen, diensten of werken.

Ben jij inkoper? Doe dan hier mee met ons onderzoek: enquête

Deelnemen kost niet veel tijd en de antwoorden zijn volledig anoniem. De resultaten van het onderzoek zullen worden gebruikt voor publicaties over duurzaam inkopen, die na afloop van het onderzoek hier gedeeld zullen worden.

Alvast hartelijk bedankt,

Dr. Jolien Grandia & Dr. Bert George

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New article on Sustainable Public Procurement

Together with Dylan Voncken I have written an article titled “Sustainable Public Procurement: The Impact of Ability, Motivation, and Opportunity on the Implementation of Different Types of Sustainable Public Procurement”. 

Public organisations develop sustainable public procurement (SPP) policies to compel suppliers to contribute to societal goals. Studies show that the ability, motivation, and opportunity that procurers have to procure in a sustainable manner affect the uptake of SPP. Most studies into SPP examine these factors only in the context of one type of SPP (e.g., green procurement). The goal of this paper is therefore to examine the relationship between ability, motivation, and opportunity and six types of SPP: (1) green public procurement, (2) social return on investment, (3) circular economy, (4) bio-based public procurement, (5) innovation-oriented public procurement and (6) international social criteria. An online survey was administered amongst procurers working in Dutch public organisations. The research shows that ability, motivation, and opportunity affect Green Public Procurement (GPP). Opportunity did affect green public procurement, innovation-oriented public procurement and circular economy, but not the other types of SPP. We were unable to identify an antecedent of more social types of SPP in this research. This research shows that findings based on GPP cannot be directly generalized to other types of SPP, and that there is a need for research into the antecedents of social types of SPP.

The article is published in open access journal Sustainability and can be read for free here: article. 

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New international research

Environmentally friendly procurement and sustainability are important topics in many organizations and is one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Organisations can challenge and stimulate suppliers to help them reach their sustainability goals via their procurement projects.

From the Erasmus University Rotterdam (Jolien Grandia) and Ghent University (Bert George) we have therefore initiated a new research into environmentally friendly procurement. In cooperation with the NEVI and VIB we will be surveying procurement professionals from different countries about environmentally friendly procurement. With this research we hope to gain insight into the considerations that play a role in procuring in a more or less environmentally friendly way and understand the role sustainability plays in the work of procurement professionals. The aggregated and anonymous answers will be used for several publications that will be listed on the publications page once they have been written, accepted and published.

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Article on motivational strategies now online

Together with Peter Kruyen (Radboud University Nijmegen) and Yvonne La Grouw (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) I have written a paper titled “Motivating the unemployed: A full‐range model of motivational strategies that caseworkers use to activate clients“.

Governments use activation policies to stimulate unemployed citizens in finding work. Caseworkers are, as front‐line workers, responsible for concrete activation trajectories based on these activation policies. Little is known about how caseworkers try to get clients to participate in these activation trajectories. In a qualitative, inductive study (consisting of observations and reflective interviews) in two welfare agencies, we identified 10 motivational strategies that caseworkers employed. The full‐range leadership model appeared to be an appropriate perspective to understand, systematize, and reflect on these strategies, in particular as our analyses show that these motivational strategies can be placed on a continuum ranging from laissez‐faire to transactional and transformational strategies. We found that caseworkers matched their motivational strategy to the situation and client but preferred transformational strategies. Our findings implicate chances but also challenges for activation in practice and literature on front‐line workers.

The article has been published open-access, so everybody can read our article for free here:  article.

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ICPP in Montréal

In June I attended the fourth International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP) in Montréal, Canada and presented a paper about the impact of ability, motivation and opportunity on different types of sustainable public procurement.

Factors related to the ability, motivation and opportunity to procure in a sustainable manner have been identified as barriers or drivers to the implementation of SPP. Existing studies on sustainable public procurement often only focus on green public procurement, thereby overlooking the other types of SPP. Little is therefore known about the impact of these factors on the various types of SPP. A survey has been administered amongst procurers working in public spending authorities (e.g. municipalities, ministries, universities, provinces, and water boards).

The results indicate the antecedents vary per type of SPP and thus that findings about the antecedent of green public procurement cannot be generalised to other types of SPP.

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IPSERA in Milan

In April I attended the 28th International IPSERA conference in Milan, Italy. I presented a paper written with Dr Peter Kruyen (Radboud University Nijmegen) that reported the results from a research into > 140.000 public procurement notices of Belgian contracting authorities.

The nature and extent of sustainable procurement is perceived to vary greatly, but little is actually known about the uptake of SPP and how it varies. Using text mining techniques over 140.000 procurement contract notices (published between 2011 and 2016) from Belgian public contracting authorities were explored to examine the current state of sustainable procurement, and identify patterns in the level and nature of attention for sustainability. Most notably we found that attention for sustainability increased and then decreased over time, focused on environmental sustainability, and varied between regions within Belgium. The paper was short listed for the best Public Procurement paper.