To read this content please select one of the options below:

Impacts of institutional isomorphism on the adoption of social procurement in the Chinese construction industry

Ahsan Nawaz (College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China)
Francis Lanme Guribie (Department of Building Technology, Tamale Technical University, Tamale, Ghana)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 14 December 2022




Social procurement (SP) is a complicated and risky innovation, the adoption of which needs to be accompanied by complementary process and organizational change. To date, however, there has been little empirical evidence explaining whether and how different sorts of external pressures affect the level of SP adoption in the construction sector. Drawing on institutional theory, this study aims to analyze how three types of isomorphic pressures (i.e. coercive, mimetic and normative pressures) influence the adoption of SP in the construction sector.


The impacts of these pressures are empirically tested with survey data collected from 134 construction firms in the Chinese construction industry.


The findings show that both coercive and mimetic pressures have a considerable impact on the adoption of SP. However, there is little evidence in this study that normative demands had a major impact on SP.

Practical implications

This research is a useful instrument for promoting a favorable social attitude regarding construction procurement. Through socioeconomic regeneration and development, procurement can be considered as a significant route for social transformation, economic development and poverty reduction.


This study addresses the paucity of research into SP in the construction industry by establishing the institutional drivers to procuring services and products from a social enterprise perspective. Findings from this study extend the frontiers of existing knowledge on SP in the construction industry.



The study has been supported by Zhejiang University, China.


Nawaz, A. and Guribie, F.L. (2022), "Impacts of institutional isomorphism on the adoption of social procurement in the Chinese construction industry", Construction Innovation, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles