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Barriers and solutions in adopting public–private partnerships in road transportation infrastructure projects for developing countries: results of a Delphi survey in Iran

Daniel W. M. Chan (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China)
Dher Abdul Hadi Sadeq (Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran)
Aqeel Mohammed Fadhil (Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran)
Matteo Cristofaro (Department of Management and Law, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy)
Hadi Sarvari (Department of Civil Engineering, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran and Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China)

Journal of Facilities Management

ISSN: 1472-5967

Article publication date: 2 December 2022

37

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable economic growth in both developed and developing countries requires the restructuring and expansion of road transportation infrastructures (RTIs). However, RTIs are always subject to high costs and delays, especially in developing countries with fewer resources than developed ones. Cost overruns and inaccurate forecasts usually lead to project failures. In this regard, some governments in developing countries have adopted public–private partnerships (PPPs) to deliver RTI projects with very positive outcomes. However, academic research has not yet studied the most recurring barriers and associated solutions to adopting PPPs in RTIs particularly for developing countries. This paper aims to fill up this knowledge gap in the existing literature.

Design/methodology/approach

A Delphi survey method involving 103 experts in RTIs based in Iran was implemented. Results indicated that the most perceived barriers to applying PPPs in RTIs in developing countries are linked to political, legal and economic factors. Ten other experts also participated in semistructured interviews, which were thematically analyzed to provide practical effective solutions for overcoming those identified barriers.

Findings

The findings indicated that all the presented barriers achieved above-average scores and could be considered severe obstacles of applying PPPs in RTIs for developing countries. In terms of barriers and solutions reported, these seem to converge on three profound elements: political stability, legal framework and conjoint management.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first-ever research study regarding the barriers to adopting PPPs in delivering RTI projects for developing countries. Practical recommendations for overcoming these perceived barriers and achieving better implementation of PPPs in RTIs for developing countries were advocated. This work has contributed to the extant PPP theory as the management of coproduction in delivering RTI projects.

Keywords

Citation

Chan, D.W.M., Abdul Hadi Sadeq, D., Mohammed Fadhil, A., Cristofaro, M. and Sarvari, H. (2022), "Barriers and solutions in adopting public–private partnerships in road transportation infrastructure projects for developing countries: results of a Delphi survey in Iran", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFM-01-2022-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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