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Characterising the relationship between responsible sourcing and organisational reputation in construction firms

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conference contribution
posted on 30.04.2015, 11:00 by James Upstill-Goddard, Jacqui Glass, Andrew Dainty
Responsible Sourcing (RS), the ethical management of sustainability issues through the construction supply chain, first achieved national prominence in the UK 2008 Strategy for Sustainable Construction. This set a target for 25% of all construction products to be sourced from schemes recognized for RS by 2012. The Building Research Establishment (BRE) published a framework standard, BES 6001, in 2009 to enable construction firms to certify their products as responsibly sourced to help achieve this target; since then, 80 BES 6001 certificates have been issued to around 40 companies in the UK. RS has its roots in the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda and, although it has become a distinct focus within procurement and sustainability management practices in some firms, it is still an under-theorised concept; understanding the role it plays in relation to an organisation’s reputation is a subject area that is noticeably absent from the literature. Although it has been suggested that robust links between the broader CSR agenda and corporate reputation are yet to be established, there is evidence that reputational protection is a key driver for an organisation to engage with RS. Based on a critical review of the literature, this paper aims to stimulate debate on the characteristics of organisational reputation in construction firms and understand the relationship between RS and reputation. It takes into account internal and external stakeholders’ perspectives and the extent to which focussing on protecting reputation can or should take precedence over bottom-line benefits.


This research forms part of an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme, sponsored by Responsible Solutions Ltd and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which is managed through the Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering (CICE), based at the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Sustainable Building Conference 2013


215 - 224 (10)


UPSTILL-GODDARD, J.D., GLASS, J. and DAINTY, A.R.J., 2013. Characterising the relationship between responsible sourcing and organisational reputation in construction firms. Sustainable Building Conference: SB13, Coventry University, pp. 215 - 224.


© Coventry University


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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