Project Management Institute

Contractual and Relational Governance as Positioned-Practices in Ongoing Public-Private Partnership Projects

This article introduces a process framework based on the realist social theory for studying governing in ongoing public-private partnerships (PPPs). Contractual and relational practices are defined as activities enacted and re-created by virtue of actors' dual positions: at both the partnership and the parent organizational levels. In PPPs, complementarities and contradictions between public, rule-bureaucratic logic and private, market-oriented logic define structural demands on actors. Nonpredictive and innovative governing activities emerge from the actors' reflexive capacity to balance different demands. The framework allows the examination of the complex interplay of relational and contractual practices, illustrated in a PPP Dutch case.
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