Designing public-private partnerships for development

  • Lea Stadtler University of Geneva, HEC
Keywords: collaboration, coordination, governance, partnerships for development, publicprivate partnerships, structural contingency


Public-private partnerships (PPPs) for development are increasingly used to address public problems that exceed the capacities of a single sector. Nevertheless, these partnerships are challenging and many of them come up against collaborative inertia. A commonly suggested remedy is to develop more effective and bespoke modes of structuring and coordinating the partnership. However, the literature on PPPs often simplifies diversity and does not differentiate between various structural forms. A typology from the network literature serves as a starting point for gaining a deeper understanding of effective PPP structures and the management of the various design challenges which correspond to them. This article argues that additional challenges stem from the specific context of PPPs for development and thereby extends existing insights into the typology. Building on the structural contingency literature, the article develops a conceptual framework for the management of PPP-specific design challenges and elucidates cautious implications for the effective use of different PPP structures. The resulting framework is illustrated with three short field examples of PPPs for development.


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How to Cite
Stadtler, L. (2012). Designing public-private partnerships for development. M@n@gement, 15(1), 77-100. Retrieved from
Original Research Articles