Institutional Incentives for Sustainable Public Procurement: a Case Study of Sustainability Considerations in the Swedish Construction Sector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The possibility to integrate sustainability considerations in the public procurement process has been debated over recent decades, resulting in several legislative changes. Collaboration between public and private sectors is emphasised as important in the development of sustainable public procurement but few studies focus on public-private collaboration related to sustainable public procurement. This article contributes to this area of research through an empirical case study of the integration of social and environmental considerations in Swedish public procurement of construction work. A pilot project to enable employment of youth in a construction project is used as a case study. An analysis is conducted of the institutional incentives that exist regarding sustainability considerations, both from the perspective of the public sector actor (the procuring authority) and the private sector actor (the contractor). A model of institutional incentives is developed that broadens the concept of incentives for use beyond merely regulative incentives or financial or contractual incentives. The findings show that regulative incentives have been subordinated other types of institutional incentives in sustainable public procurement practice. The complexity of institutional incentives is important to highlight in order to understand sustainable public procurement in practice, and what factors may contribute as well as hinder the decision-making processes related to sustainability objectives.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society
  • Social Work


  • construction indusry, sustainability issues, Public Procurement, collaboration, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-235
Number of pages16
JournalThe Public Procurement Law Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch

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Lina Wedin Hansson & Susanna Johansson


Project: Research

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