Sustainable Procurement Practice: The Effect of Procurement Officers’ Perceptions

Journal of Business Ethics:1-24 (forthcoming)


Effective implementation and committed practice of sustainable procurement remain a significant challenge for many organisations across the globe. This paper sought to understand the extent to which employees’ perceptions influence the practice of sustainable procurement in the context of a developing country where sustainability awareness is low. Drawing on the Diffusion of Innovation theory, procurement officers’ perceptions of sustainable procurement were examined relative to the attributes of complexity, compatibility and relative advantage. Empirical data from 322 Ghanaian organisations were analysed using descriptive statistics and structural equation modelling to determine the nature of procurement officers’ perceptions of sustainable procurement and the effects of the perceptions on relevant organisational practices. The findings indicate that whereas perceptions of relative advantage did not significantly influence the practice of sustainable procurement, perceptions of compatibility had a significant positive effect, and perceptions of complexity had a significant negative effect on sustainable procurement. This study offers insights into the link between employees’ perceptions and organisational sustainable procurement practice, thereby providing a conceptual basis for effective management of the pertinent relationships with implications for enhanced ethical practices in procurement and supply chain management.

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