Implementation of sustainable public procurement in local governments: a measurement approach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Assessing and measuring the extent of organization-level policy implementation has received little scholarly attention, especially in the areas of local governments' procurement and environmental protection. To rectify the paucity of research in this area, this paper adopts Leonard-Barton's (1988) conceptualization of the misalignment between the (policy) innovation and the organization and draws on an original survey of local government finance, environment and public works departments in a representative sample of US cities with at least 25,000 residents to develop a strategy for measuring the extent of the implementation of a sustainable procurement policy (SPP) in local governments. Design/methodology/approach: The authors demonstrate through the construction of a composite index that in order for a SPP to be fully implemented, standards and rules, routines and decision-making criteria need to exist to reconcile any technical, infrastructural and decision-making misalignments between the new policy and an organization's pre-existing norms and routines. Findings: The authors empirically assess and demonstrate that the paper's proposed composite measure of policy implementation is robust to multiple specifications and measurement reliability and construct validity tests. Originality/value: Whereas the existing literature from political science and policy science has tended to focus on higher levels of implementation in government through a complex hierarchical system, this paper underscores the importance of the policy implementation at the organizational level. Moreover, the authors contribute methodologically by our development of a strategy to measure the extent of the implementation of a SPP by local governments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)697-712
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Public Sector Management
Issue number6-7
StatePublished - Nov 4 2020


  • Cities
  • Local governments
  • Organizations
  • Policy implementation
  • Sustainable procurement policy
  • Sustainable public procurement
  • Sustainable public purchasing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Public Administration
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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