Role of organizational power and politics in the success of public service public private partnerships

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This dissertation studies the role of organizational politics and power and their role in the success of public service Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). By doing so, it addresses two areas

This dissertation studies the role of organizational politics and power and their role in the success of public service Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). By doing so, it addresses two areas of research in network governance and organizational theory. On one hand it explores the role of public private partnerships in the emerging network governance paradigm of public administration. On the other hand it studies the widely discussed but considerably under-researched role of organizational power in network governance. The literature review establishes public service PPPs as a sub type of governance networks, and provides an initial framework to study the nature and dynamics of power in these PPPs. The research is descriptive in nature and uses inductive reasoning in the tradition of Kathleen Eisenhardt. Case studies in rural areas of Punjab, Pakistan are conducted on two very similar PPPs. A replication logic is used to understand how power contributed to the success of one of those projects and lack of success in the other. Based on analysis of the findings, the dissertation concludes that public service PPPs succeed when the goals of the PPP are aligned with the goals of the most powerful collaborators. This is because regardless of its structure, a public service PPP pursues the goals targeted by the sum total of the power of its politically active collaborators. The dissertation also provides insight into the complexity of the concept of success in public service PPPs and the donor control on the operation and outcomes of public service PPPs.