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Public procurement as a policy tool: using procurement to reach desired outcomes in society

Jolien Grandia (Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands) (Department of Public Administration and Sociology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands)
Joanne Meehan (Management School, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to introduce the special issue and outline its major themes and challenges, their relevance and the research opportunities the field presents.


The paper reviews prior literature and outlines the need to view public procurement as a policy tool to introduce the contributions to this special issue.


Public procurement has been consistently used to further public policies in a wide range of fields. The collection of articles in this special issue contributes to a broader understanding of the role and potential of public procurement in delivering desired policy outcomes in society. The articles show that public procurement largely has strategic aspirations, and its potential to deliver on wider societal issues is attractive to policy makers. The issues raised in this collection of articles, however, also demonstrate that public procurement often lacks strategic maturity and critical issues, notably around how to demonstrate and evaluate its impact and “success”.

Research limitations/implications

This paper aims to stimulate interdisciplinary research into the role of public procurement as a policy tool and its ability to achieve public value.


This paper discusses theoretical and empirical findings that highlight the importance of public procurement for achieving public value. The special issue examines the interdisciplinary literature on public procurement and shows how it is being used to achieve public value.



The authors would like to thank Editor-in-Chief Sandra van Thiel for the opportunity to publish this special issue and Robin Bouwman for his excellent editorial assistance. The authors would also like to extend warmest thanks to the external reviewers for their constructive and helpful comments of the submitted papers for this special issue.


Grandia, J. and Meehan, J. (2017), "Public procurement as a policy tool: using procurement to reach desired outcomes in society", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 302-309.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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