On the third of July I presented a paper in the implementation of sustainable procurement at the annual EGOS Colloquium. I presented in panel 30 “Challenging Change: Leading and Intervening Succesfully” convened by Ralf Wetzel, Ben Kuipers, Rune By, Malcolm Higgs, Ruth Alas and Chris Rees.
In the paper, I examined what role change agents play in the implementation of sustainable public procurement in procurement projects. Although political pressure can stimulate organisations’ engagement in sustainable public procurement; it is inside the organisation that changes have to be made and barriers removed to make it successful. Procurement is a process whereby the decisions of project teams determine whether the full potential of sustainable procurement is attained. To optimise this, project teams should be encouraged to adopt new behaviour. This role is awarded to the change agent in organisational change literature. In this article I examine whether and how change agents play a role in seven public procurement projects in two Dutch national government organisations. I conclude that by carrying out activities, change agents can help project teams progress through the change process from resistance towards commitment and thereby help increase the degree of sustainable procurement of the procurement projects.Photo: Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam (Erik Fecken)