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Managing public−private partnerships: dealing with business-culture influences

Wilco Tijhuis (Department of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to investigate and analyze actual developments within PPP-projects, and the influences of business-cultures in the management-processes of such international PPP-projects. The paper focusses especially on the procurement, during which potential project-partners are being selected.


The researcher adopted a recent model from literature for analyzing business-cultures within construction processes; especially the so called “3C-Model” was used, earlier developed and published within construction-management literature. Based on analysis of literature and comparable situations, conclusions and recommendations have been made for managing international PPP-projects, especially in the project-partners selection phase.


Actual approaches within international PPP-projects do need a more structured approach during the selection of the project-partners. It is suggested to use more past-performance information, not only based on financials and/or organizational data/experiences, but also on behavioral (business-culture) data/experiences. This information needs to be structured in a proper way. Suggestions are given focussing on discussion and future-outlook.

Research limitations/implications

It would be useful to test the findings on further actual cases, testing the further implications of the outcome.

Practical implications

A better understanding of business-cultures’ influences increases the awareness of project-participants for the advantage of the suggested extra selection-criteria. This might reduce the risk for conflicts during the project-execution in the total project life-cycle.

Social implications

When improving the actual practices of selection suitable parties for actual and future PPP-projects, it is of great value to be as effective as possible within this selection process. Especially, because this approach can prevent for several unpleasant situations afterwards during the operation-time (life-cycle) of the PPP-project. In this way, a proper handling of business-culture’s influence can save clients and other stakeholders involved (society) a large amount of possible conflicts (claims, etc.) afterwards.


The proposed approach contributes to a better understanding of project-processes and its stakeholders (i.e. especially the – foreseen – project-participants). Current selection-processes still do not adopt a structured approach for incorporating past-performance behavioral data/experiences; so structuring and using them properly can result in more successful PPP-projects within a fast growing international PPP-market.



Tijhuis, W. (2015), "Managing public−private partnerships: dealing with business-culture influences", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 5 No. 1, pp. 22-34.



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