The impact of the EU procurement rules on corporate responsibility in the supply chain: a study of utilities

Aspey, Eleanor (2012) The impact of the EU procurement rules on corporate responsibility in the supply chain: a study of utilities. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) refers to the voluntary integration of social and environmental concerns into business practice. It is of increasing importance to utilities, with commercial pressure to be socially responsible coming from, inter alia, consumers, investors and employees. One way in which utilities can integrate CSR into their business is in their procurement. However, the potential scope for the inclusion of CSR considerations in procurement regulated by the EU is uncertain, with some policies clearly restricted but the legality of others being less clear.

This thesis examines the practical impact of the EU procurement regulation on the use of CSR policies in utilities procurement, focusing specifically on the inclusion of labour concerns. The project aims to discover practitioners’ opinions of the EU law in this area and their experience in applying it, looking at positive and negative aspects of the law. In order to do so, a qualitative study was completed, with semi-structured interviews conducted with a sample of procurement practitioners based in UK utilities. The study covers the level of use of labour policies in procurement, the types of labour policy commonly included and the means by which those policies are integrated into procurement, with emphasis on the impact of the EU regulation on each issue.

The thesis concludes that the impact of the EU regulation was relatively low, with most practitioners feeling that the procurement rules did not generally restrict their inclusion of labour policies. Instead, practical concerns governed the choice of labour policy and the means by which those policies were integrated into procurement. The major exception to this was in the area of policies which favoured local labour or firms, where practitioners felt that the EU regulation was very restrictive and prevented them from achieving their commercial aims.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Supervisors:Arrowsmith, S.
Fraser, D.
Uncontrolled Keywords:public procurement, corporate social responsibility, European Union law, employment
Faculties/Schools:UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Law
ID Code:2701
Deposited By:Dr Eleanor Aspey
Deposited On:06 Sep 2012 11:08
Last Modified:06 Sep 2012 11:08

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