Achieving Collaborative Advantage or Succumbing to inertia - a Boundary Perspective on Public-private Partnerships for Arch Agenda



While sustainable solutions to complex public problems often call for innovative cross-sector collaboration that combines the expertise and resources of several sectors, the practice of collaboration proves to be challenging. For example, partners in public-private partnerships (PPPs) for development face challenges that stem from the collaboration’s cross-sector nature, its implementation in the public domain, and the need to involve beneficiaries. This article argues that the successful handling of these challenges is important to achieve collaborative advantage and realize the PPP’s goals, and explores the so far under-researched role played by the management of boundaries. Based on a case-study sample of four PPPs for development, the article discusses how the conscious management of PPP boundaries can help smooth common collaboration challenges. The findings extend the literature on collaborative advantage by revealing the role of managing the PPP’s boundaries with its environment and vis-à-vis partner organizations in avoiding or overcoming collaborative inertia.

BIOGRAPHY: Lea Stadtler, 1982, is teaching and research assistant at the chair of organization and management at the University of Geneva, HEC since September 2008. Previously, she made a two-year apprenticeship and formal education certificate program at a German private bank and obtained a master degree on International Business Administration. In her Ph.D. thesis she focuses on the corporate perspective in public-private partnerships as well as on the different designs and design challenges in such boundary-spanning partnerships. Since 2010, she additionally works  as visiting researcher on selected projects with the INSEAD Social Innovation Centre.

Contact information:
Anita van Velzen