The impact of shifting values on the role and responsibilities of the construction client in delivering public goods

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In today’s construction industry we witness an increase in public private collaboration in the delivery of public goods. By transferring operational responsibility to private contractors, public construction clients have fewer possibilities to directly influence and steer the outcomes of these processes while remaining socio-political responsible.
In this paper we aim to explore how public construction clients try to find a balance in public value management activities by rethinking their roles and responsibilities in the client-contractor relationship. This paper results of a set of semi-structured interviews with different actors playing a part in commissioning of organisations with different degrees of publicness are presented. Results indicate that the alignment of the client role and change in responsibilities should be rather flexible in order to deal with the restrictions that procedural values such as lawfulness, reliability and transparency bring along. This requires significant changes in the interpretation of the commissioning profession and the transformation of the collaborative relationship in public private collaboration. Further research should look more closely into the alignment of the shifted roles and responsibilities and organizational- and steering mechanisms that could be applied to enhance this value shift in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 34th Annual ARCOM Conference
EditorsChris Gorse, Christopher J. Neilson
Place of PublicationManchester, UK
PublisherARCOM, Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)978-0-9955463-2-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event34th Annual ARCOM Conference - Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Sep 20185 Sep 2018


Conference34th Annual ARCOM Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • public value management
  • PPP
  • value shift
  • responsibilities


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