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Public-Private Partnerships - Theory vs Practice: Charting New Trajectories


Special issue call for papers from Built Environment Project and Asset Management

Over the years, the footprint of the PPP model has spread across the global infrastructure landscape with some successes and many lessons learned. Despite various measures adopted by governments, many PPP projects failed to meet the expectations of stakeholders in reality and practice. These unsuccessful PPP projects have drawn the attention of policy makers and researchers to investigate if there exist any gaps between theory and practice in development, procurement, construction and operation of PPP projects; and if so, how to improve the theoretical understanding of PPPs; as well as how to translate any new or adjusted propositions and principles to more effective and innovative practices in the field. This investigation needs to go beyond either understanding and comparing of practices followed in countries having different levels of PPP maturity or mere identification of pitfalls and suggesting prospects for improvement. Rather, the research inquiry could analyse the conceptualization, development, implementation and operation of PPP projects from theoretical constructs provided from core concepts from, for example, organizational theory, transaction cost economics, institutional theory, and contract theory, and chart a new course for these PPP arrangements to handle emerging realities and priorities in practice.

In this context, this Special Issue expects to inspire authors to develop and submit papers re-examining emerging needs for new types of PPP projects and practices. These may well be conceptualised and formulated on the basis of paradigmatic shifts in the theories that presently underpin PPPs.  Therefore, the specific objectives include:

  • To investigate the best of prevailing theoretical PPP constructs and to develop new constructs if found more relevant to emerging needs and priorities, so as to improve understanding of the working of PPP projects, and how these constructs can help in improving performance of PPP projects
  • To investigate how existing gaps can be minimized between the theoretical foundations, concepts and expectation of PPPs and their implementation and outcomes in actual practice. Note: this may include modifying or improving both theoretical propositions and practical protocols
  • To identify any changes required in PPP stakeholder expectations and other frameworks like accounting, governance, transparency and equity, that could help to develop more advanced and well-balanced PPPs
  • To explore commonly identified 'weak' or 'vulnerable' areas of PPP that appear to be in need of complete rethinking, thereby contributing to the conceptualization, implementation, and the delivery of the next generation of PPPs
  • To understand the evolution of drivers underpinning the adoption of previous PPP models and to identify institutional frameworks and organizations that can be invigorated for continued mainstreaming of PPPs
  • To understand the reasons for, and root causes of, prevailing gaps and mismatches between expectation and realities in PPP procurement and to identify ways and means of bridging these gaps for mutual benefits

It is also important to take note of the special focus of this issue which is investigating theory vs. practice of implementing PPP projects. This could include analyses of how well (or not) some theoretical concepts are translated into practice, along with an exploration of possible reasons for mismatches. The investigations conducted in contributing to this Special Issue could also unearth avenues for theory testing and building, along with directions for institutional strengthening that are essential, but apparently lacking. As a result, these papers should garner higher visibility and, in turn, provide a sound platform for dissemination of leading edge research findings and best practices in PPP.

Potential themes for papers include:

  • Institutional strengthening to maximise potential benefits from PPP projects
  • Theory building and testing amidst evolving priorities of PPPs
  • Revisiting and redesigning PPP Governance and Contractual systems
  • Revisiting and Re-inventing best practices in PPP implementation
  • Performance-boosting Innovations in PPPs
  • Performance measurement in PPPs
  • Renegotiation of PPP concessions
  • Design of PPP procurement processes
  • Stakeholder management in PPP projects
  • Transaction costs in PPPs
  • Principal agent theory in PPPs
  • Capacity building for PPPs
  • PPP coordination agencies
  • Sustainable development and PPP

Submission Information

All papers should be submitted via the journal's ScholarOne page.
Authors are requested to read and adhere to the author guidelines.

Submission Deadline: 15th November 2019

The total word count limit (including Figures and Tables, counted at 280 words each) is 7,500 words. Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal. Formal submission of abstracts are encouraged. Interested authors should select "PPP Theory vs Practice: Charting New Trajectories" during the submission process when asked "Please select the issue you are submitting to".

If you have any queries or wish to discuss your submission before submitting, you are welcome to get in touch with the Guest Editors.

Guest Editors

Dr. Boeing Laishram
Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India.
[email protected]

Dr. Ganesh Devkar
CEPT University, India.
[email protected]