‘Governance for Smartening Public-Private Partnerships’

The concept smart governance in relation to partnerships refers to new and innovative forms of governance. Smart governance then points to new organizational arrangements and ways of managing and guiding which succeed to minimize risks that are connected to PPPs (like opportunism, high transaction costs, rigidity) and enhance aspects like the commitment of partners, flexibility, trust and innovative capacity.

The research question

The overall research question of our program reads as follows: ‘Which innovative governance strategies are developed for various forms of Public-Private Partnerships and what is the effect of these strategies on the quality of the partnership and its outcomes?

Research questions

  1. Which actors are involved in the cooperation of various partnerships and how do they design their relations and role division?
  2. How does the decision-making process in these partnerships evolve? Which tensions and bottlenecks occur in the initiation, design and implementation of partnerships and how do the agreements and role division made by the partners affect these?
  3. Which smart governance strategies are developed in partnerships to cope with the dynamics that emerge during the development and implementation and what is the influence of these smart governance strategies on the outcomes of partnerships?

Research themes (see research projects for more information)

Our research project consists of a number of different, yet closely intertwined, research themes. On the one hand this research program aims at examining the implementation phase of DBFM(O)-projects, in which we look at the form and content of the contract and the way (contract-) management influences the quality of the relation between the partners and the project performance. On the other hand the research project looks at innovative partnerships in which public actors have a more facilitating role (such as the project on energy dikes and the Markerwadden project). Moreover, we look at partnerships as a result of newly established citizens initiatives (like cooperatives on themes such as health and energy). In doing so, we focus on how these citizen initiatives cooperate with public and private actors.

Scientific Advisory Board

Our research project is supported by a scientific advisory board to safeguard the academic quality of the research and the alignment of the project with the international discourse. The board meets once or twice a year to discuss the progress and research ideas of the scholars involved in the project. Each board member has elaborate experience on relevant topics, including public-private partnerships, privatization and regulation. Currently, the board consists of the following members:

  • Professor Graeme Hodge from the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia;
  • Professor Carsten Greve from the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in Denmark;
  • Professor Koen Verhoest from the University of Antwerp in Belgium.