Overcoming the paradoxes of sustainable purchasing. A qualitative study on the drivers and barriers affecting the sustainable purchasing transition
In the last few decades, increased attention towards sustainability initiatives has enthralled organisations on a global scale. An experimental setting in the Netherlands is the Living Lab experiment which explores sustainable logistical innovations in the form of bundled transportation of goods. The sustainable purchasing transformation is part of the increased sustainability efforts of the Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) participating in this project. However, a compelling overview of internal and external drivers and barriers within a (semi) public institutional perspective is lacking. In this qualitative study, a total of 9 participants were interviewed during semi-structured interviews. The findings of this study indicate that the internal drivers, moral/ethical motivation of employees and, external driver government regulation and legislation exert the most influence on implementing sustainable purchasing. The cost picture, lack of knowledge and goals within the organisation are impactful barriers. The continuous changing impact of drivers and barriers causes tensions. The most salient tensions are the change/organizing, performing, temporal/learning and belonging tensions caused by an interaction between social, environmental and economic dimensions on different levels. This study aims to extend the current knowledge and decrease the existing knowledge gap. Future research should analyse other sustainability initiatives within (semi) public organisations.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen