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Dynamic Stakeholder Networks and the Governance of PPPs

TitleDynamic Stakeholder Networks and the Governance of PPPs
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsSouth, AJ, Levitt, RE, Dewulf, GPMR
Conference NameProceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Public-Private Partnerships
Date Published06/2015
Conference LocationAustin, Texas, USA
KeywordsInstitutional Theory, Project Governance, Public-Private Partnerships, Stakeholders

The growing gap between a global infrastructure deficit and the availability of public funding sources suggests private participation in the provisioning of public infrastructure will persist and even expand in the coming decades. However, the outcomes of these Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and their value for society, are discussed by many. The complicated governance arrangements of PPPs are at the heart of unpredictable outcomes. These complexities propagate uncertainties and risks for multiple stakeholders, which constrains supportive actions over a PPP’s lifecycle. Much of the scholarship addressing PPP governance identifies critical success factors (CSFs) and key performance indicators (KPI)s from a private focal actor’s perspective (and generally in a narrow time frame), but little attention has been paid to the fundamental challenge of dynamic stakeholder networks surrounding and encompassing PPPs. This paper empirically unpacks the project lifecycle into phases, and illustrates how stakeholder networks change with these phases.

This paper provides an analysis of an in-depth PPP highway transportation case within the US. Using retrospective primary and secondary data, the results from a phase-based network analysis demonstrate changing organizational arrangements within the PPP stakeholder network. This research uses stakeholder theory as a conceptual framework for identifying and analyzing actors and perspectives, and suggests that PPP governance is a challenge in dynamic network governance. Its contributions are at the intersection of public administration, business management, and project management, supporting a larger undertaking by scholars to propose integrated theory for the governance of complex PPPs.