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Paper info: Exploring the dynamics of organisational change: the case of sustainable purchasing


Exploring the dynamics of organisational change: the case of sustainable purchasing


Simona D’Antone,
Robert Spencer
EuroMed Marseille
Robert Spencer and Florence Crespin-Mazet

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 34th IMP-conference in Sri Lanka in 2018.


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Much emphasis has been placed of late on the notion of sustainability as seen from a purchasing perspective and its integration into purchasing strategy. Little attention however has been devoted to the organizational aspects related to the emergence of responsible purchasing inside the firm. What factors initiate the adoption of a responsible purchasing strategy? What different stages may be identified over time and what explanatory factors conditioning both the form of organization adopted and the outcomes? What factors internal to the firm hinder the adoption and success of a responsible purchasing strategy? In this paper we address these issues shaping the initial design of our theory-building research on the constructs proposed in an evolutionary model of the purchasing function in the firm. The data focuses on a single in-depth case analysis of a major passenger and freight transport company, tracing the process of sustainable purchasing development back from the time of inception. This data is the result of company documents collection and in-depth interviews with more than 20 respondents within the firm, of different origins and involved to a greater or lesser degree with the sustainable purchasing initiative and operations. Results and subsequent discussion relate on theory building of a stage framework of sustainable purchasing emergence obtained from the iterative comparison between the data and constructs so that sharper and appropriate conceptual definitions and explanatory variables are provided with related discussion as to managerial consequences for the firm.