The 3P Challenge: A Serious Game for Reflecting on Partnership in Public-Private Concessions

Camilo Benitez-Avila*, Andreas Hartmann, Geert Dewulf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Process management literature is skeptical about creating legitimacy and a sense of partnership when implementing concessional Public-Private Partnerships. Within such organizational arrangements, managerial interaction often resembles zero-sum games. To explore the possibility to (re)create a sense of partnership in concessional PPPs, we developed the “3P challenge” serious game. Two gaming sessions with a mixed group of practitioners and a team of public project managers showed that the game cycle recreates adversarial situations where players can enact contractual obligations with higher or lower levels of subjectivity. When reflecting on the gaming experience, practitioners point out that PPP contracts can be creatively enacted by managers who act as brokers of diverse interests. While becoming aware of each other stakes they can blend contractual dispositions or place brackets around some contractual clauses for reaching agreement. By doing so, they can (re)create a sense of partnership, clarity, and fairness of the PPP contract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-60
Number of pages32
JournalPublic Works Management and Policy
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Concessional contracts
  • Process management
  • Public–private partnerships
  • Reflexivity
  • Serious gaming
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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