Navigating value systems in urban PPP projects

Lizet Kuitert, Leentje Volker, Marleen Hermans

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Today’s societal challenges increasingly ask for collaborations of public, private and societal parties to achieve public goals though public service delivery projects. In these PPPs project managers have to align the interests of the permanent parent organization with the interests of the temporary project organization. Especially in urban area development projects a network of multiple internal and external actors creates a situation in which public construction client organizations must cope with different logics in, often conflicting, value systems. They are challenged to balance values related to their legal obligations, such as reliability and equity, and the increasingly important values related both product and process innovation. We use an in-depth case study to identify the main tensions that are present between the different logics of the public, private and societal organizations involved in the delivery of public goods and services in the supply chain of an urban area project. And identify different resources (administrative and otherwise) that are consciously or unconsciously deployed coper with value conflicts. The fieldwork was conducted between June 2017 and December 2018 and consisted of interviews, observations and document analysis. Using public value process mapping, we followed both top-down and bottom-up strategy alignment practices. Findings show that the particularly participatory context displays a mixture of three logics; 1) the logic of the public commissioning organization, 2) the logic of residents organized in a panel and 3) the business logics of local suppliers organized in a tender pool. We identified various collective or individual, formal or informal, or defensive or active strategic responses to these conflicting values systems. Results of the study will increase the awareness of project managers on steering public values within the public domain and can be used to explicate the
pallet of safeguarding mechanisms that are applied in construction projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Project Management Conference
Subtitle of host publicationResearch meets Practice. Towards Project Management 3.0
PublisherDelft University of Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventProject Management Congress “ADAPT or DIE”.: Research meets Practice: towards Project Management 3.0 - Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 11 Apr 201912 Apr 2019


ConferenceProject Management Congress “ADAPT or DIE”.
Abbreviated titlePM congress 2019
Internet address


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