‘Filling the mattress’: Trust development in the governance of infrastructure megaprojects

Hans Ruijter, Alfons van Marrewijk*, Marcel Veenswijk, Sander Merkus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


The development of trust is a major challenge for the governance of public private infrastructure megaprojects. Contractual pre-arrangements should provide a blueprint for collaborative behavior and trust development but the characters of megaprojects challenge such arrangements. This longitudinal study explores practices of trust development in the collaboration of commissioner and contractor consortia in the Dutch road infrastructure megaproject ‘Schiphol, Amsterdam and Almere’ (SAA). The findings show that six different types of workshops have been used to intervene in the collaboration of project partners in order to develop trust. The study contributes to the debate on governance in megaprojects showing how governance arrangement are enacted in the daily practice in megaprojects. To buffer the potential loss of trust through conflicts, project partners negotiated for a balanced reciprocal relationship, which is the simultaneous exchange of equivalent resources without delay.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)351-364
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository 'You share, we take care!' - Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care

Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Collaboration
  • Governance
  • Infrastructure
  • Megaprojects
  • Reciprocity
  • Trust


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