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

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


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
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Sep 2020


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

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