In recent years, the search for innovative, locally relevant and engaging public service has become the new philosophers’ stone. Social procurement represents one approach to maximising public spending and social value through the purchase of goods and services. It has gained increasing attention in recent years as a way that governments and corporations can amplify the benefits of their purchasing power, and as a mechanism by which markets for social enterprise and other third sector organisations can be grown.
Despite growing policy and practitioner interest in social procurement, there has been relatively little conceptual or empirical thinking published on the issue. Taking a critically informed approach, this innovative text examines emerging approaches to social procurement within the context of New Public Governance (NPG), and examines the practices of social procurement across Europe, North America, and Australia.
Considering both the possibilities and limitations of social procurement, and the types of value it can generate, it also provides empirically-driven insights into the practicalities of ‘triple bottom line’ procurement, the related challenges of measuring social value and the management of both the strategic and operational dimensions of procurement processes. As such it will be invaluable reading for all those interested in social services, public governance and social enterprise.