Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Affairs

First Advisor's Name

Shaoming Cheng

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Mohamad G Alkadry

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Major Professor

Third Advisor's Name

Susannah Bruns Ali

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Mihaela I. Pintea

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


public procurement, contracting, green public procurement, environmental policy, innovation, collaborative governance

Date of Defense



One of the wicked problems communities face worldwide is climate change. Among potential solutions and current efforts is green public procurement (GPP), an innovative policy approach to change business as usual in the governmental sector. Local governments in the U.S. annually spend approximately $1.72 trillion on purchasing goods and services. Given substantial purchasing power of municipalities, GPP practices at the local level can incite a transition toward a more sustainable society. This study is the first to delineate the levels and variations of existing GPP practices among U.S. localities and examine the factors that facilitate or hinder GPP engagement.

Collaborative governance has been advanced as an approach to overcome barriers that arise from fragmentation of authority at the local level. Prior research suggests that collaboration leads to economies of scale, a more agile procurement process, and enhanced capacity. However, we know little about its impact on GPP practices. Drawing on Feiock’s (2013) Institutional Collective Action framework and resource exchange theory, this research also analyzes the impact of collaboration on GPP utilization.

I triangulate data from an innovative national survey, conducted in collaboration with the Institute for Public Procurement (NIGP), and multiple case studies. Research evidence shows that a strategic vision, pressures from the federal government, and familiarity with GPP practices motivate U.S. local governments to engage in GPP. Surprisingly, local governments’ use of GPP practices is hindered by availability of green suppliers. I also find that collaborative governance could indirectly enhance GPP implementation. The findings of this dissertation contribute to the advancement of theory and provide actionable recommendations for practice, as well as avenues for future research.






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