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2012/2013  BA-POL_PTPP  The Public-Private Partnership Challenge - Managing across organizational and sectorial boundaries

English Title
The Public-Private Partnership Challenge - Managing across organizational and sectorial boundaries

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Bachelor
Duration One Quarter
Course period Autumn
Changes may occur.
Wednesday 11:40 to 14:15, week 36-41, 43-46.
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 80
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc i International Business and Politics, BSc
Course coordinator
  • Christiane Schulze - Department for Business and Politics
  • Sofie Dam - Department for Business and Politics
Main Category of the Course
  • Management
  • Organization
  • Political leadership, public management and international politics
Last updated on 03-05-2012
Learning objectives
Students will develop a theoretical and empirical knowledge of PPPs and be able to discuss these as managerial tools at different governance levels. Furthermore, the course will enhance students understanding of the challenges of collaborative management and develop their capabilities as future public or private managers.

At the end of the course the student should thus be able to:
  • Understand and discuss the development, main features and different categorizations of PPPs
  • Identify and analyze PPPs at various areas and levels
  • Understand and analyze the managerial challenges in PPPs and demonstrate collaborative capabilities required of public or private managers
  • Discuss evaluations of PPPs on the basis of theoretical concepts
20 minutes oral exam based on a 4-p synopsis
20 minutes oral exam based on synopsis:
Type of test Oral with Written Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner Second internal examiner
Exam period Autumn Term, Week 44
Aids Open Book, Written Aid is permitted
Duration 20 Minutes
Prerequisites for attending the exam
Synopsis, 4 pages.
Course content

While there is a longstanding history of involving private firms in public service delivery, the idea of doing so in partnerships has first moved centre-staged in the 1990s. Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) were introduced in order to secure welfare services, create innovative solutions and provide incentives for the private providers to improve quality. Hence, instead of having detailed contracts prescribing private providers what and how to deliver, PPPs are based on joint decision-making between trusting partners in order to find the best delivery models for welfare services.
Today, PPPs have become a favorite tool for providing and improving public services in both developed and developing countries. Hence, PPPs are used in all kinds of areas such as infrastructure, policy development, health care, waste management, climate change and many more. Correspondingly, a lot of different actors on various levels are involved in PPPs such as international organizations (WHO, WTO, UN, EU), nation states, regional and local governments, NGOs and private firms.
However, PPPs are not a panacea automatically leading to innovation, quality or trust. Working in partnerships requires collaborative skills of managers and leaders from both partnering organizations. The managerial dimension of PPPs is nevertheless often forgotten in current debates leaving public and private managers alone to tackle the operational challenges and processes in PPPs. It is only recently that researchers and practitioners have drawn their attention towards the importance of the managerial dimension in PPPs.
The course is divided into two parts. It will open with a theoretical introduction and empirical discussion of PPPs as a concept used in different areas and by various actors. On this foundation, we will in the second part discuss the evaluation and managerial challenges of PPPs and look into the importance of collaborative management practices to create partnerships, which are beneficial for both the public organization and the private company.

Teaching methods
Traditional lectures mixed with exercises and class discussions. We also plan to include external lectures of practitioners in the field.
Student workload
Preparation 150 hours
Lectures 24 hours
Exam (including synopsis) 51 hours
Expected literature
The litterature includes academic articles, book chapters and case descriptions such as:
Hodge, Graeme & Greve, Carsten (2007): Public-Private Partnerships: An International Performance Review. Public Administration review, Vol.67, No. 3, pp. 545-554
Huxam, Chris and Vangen, Siv (2005): Managing to collaborate: The theory and practice of collaborative advantage. Routledge.
Klijn, Erik-Hans (2010): Public-Private partnerships: Deciphering meaning, message and phenomenon.  In: Hodge et al. International Handbook on Public-Private Partnerships. Edward Elgar Publishing.

O'Leary, Rosemary et al. (2009): Public Managers in Collaboration. In O’Leary Rosemary: The collaborative public manager: new ideas for the twenty-first century. Georgetown University Press. 2-12.
Skelcher, Chris (2010): Governing partnerships. In: Hodge et al. International Handbook on Public-Private Partnerships. Edward Elgar Publishing. Pp. 292-305.
Steijn, Bram, Klijn, Erik-Hans & Edelenbos, Jurian (2011): Public-Private Partnerships: added value by organizational form or management? Public Administration, Vol. 89, No. 4, pp. 1235-1252. Blackwell Publishing
Weihe, Gurid (2008): Ordering Disorder? On the Perplexities of the Partnership Literature. In: Australian Journal of Public Administration. 67 (4), 430-442.
Wettenhall, Roger (2010): Mixes and partnerships through time. In: Hodge et al. International handbook on Public Private Partnerships. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 17- 42.

Last updated on 03-05-2012