Targeting relationally integrated project teams for sustainable PPPs

Purpose – This paper targets the development of comprehensive approaches to prequalifying teams for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). Design/methodology/approach – Research outcomes from a study into “relationally integrated project teams” (RIPTs) were applied to necessarily longer-term PPP scenarios. A force field model was developed to visualise the importance of stronger relational forces between the many PPP participants for “sustainable RIPTs” (SRITs). A framework was conceptualised to show linkages from relational contracting approaches, through sustainable relationships to sustainable infrastructure. This framework and a basic model for evaluating relational performance, were assessed by a panel of international PPP experts. Findings – The results encouraged the collection of factors facilitating successful relationships to build the proposed knowledge base. Literature review and initial interviews provide examples of priorities and lessons learned in relationship building in ongoing PPPs. Research limitations/implications – Being an integrative theory-building type exercise bringing together relational contracting, teambuilding and PPP performance research streams, this paper summarises and refers to, rather than provides details of, feeder research. Fleshing out the conceptual framework and model will next proceed beyond the initial testing and sample knowledge elements conveyed herein. Practical implications – Selecting good teams is essential for successful projects, and more so for PPP projects, given their complexities and longer timeframes. Increasing reliance on PPPs for infrastructure development and asset management enhances this significance. Originality/value – Synergies are derived from linking relationship-building and sustainability thrusts in the context of PPP performance. Concepts of “sustainable relationships” and “sustainsivity” (sensitivity to sustainability issues) are introduced.