The complex interplay between the institutional context and PPP project outcomes

Julieta Matos Castano, Geert P.M.R. Dewulf, A. Mahalingam

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Recent research has focused on institutional impacts on the implementation of PPP policies, specifically the role that the institutional and political context play in the process of developing PPP projects, and mostly analyzing contexts with similar institutional traditions. To contribute to the current state of the art, this paper attempts to answer the question of how the institutional environment affects project outcomes in PPP development in the road sector through a comparative analysis of two environments with very different institutional traditions - the Netherlands and Tamil Nadu (India) - but with similar project volumes and a comparable history of PPPs in the road sector. The maturity of the institutional environment for PPPs was comparable when both regions embarked upon PPP programs. However, the evolutions of the PPP environments and project outcomes have varied across these settings. To explain this, we draw upon institutional theory and structuration theory, to analyze the evolution of the institutional environment and its influence on project outcomes at different points of time. Our results show that the institutional environment influences project outcomes and that context-specific factors shape the evolution of the institutional environment in different ways in different arenas, thereby leading to different project outcomes over time, even when the initial set of institutional logics surrounding PPPs are the same across these arenas. We draw two main conclusions: 1) policy interventions contribute to the development of the institutional environment positively influencing project outcomes and 2) there is path dependent response at the institutional level to project outcomes, linked to political willingness to implement enabling policy actions to foster PPP development. These results contribute to our understanding of the evolution of PPP enabling fields over time and the complex interplay between institutional regulative mechanisms and outcomes on project level.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking paper series, proceedings of the engineering project organization conference (EPOC 2012), July 10-12, 2012, Rheden, The Netherlands
EditorsA. Javernick-Will, P. Chinowsky
Place of PublicationRheden, he Netherlands
PublisherUniversity of Colorado
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2012
EventEngineering Project Organization Conference 2012 - Rheden, Netherlands
Duration: 10 Jul 201212 Jul 2012

Publication series

PublisherUniversity of Colorado


ConferenceEngineering Project Organization Conference 2012
Abbreviated titleEPOC 2012
Internet address


  • METIS-287614
  • IR-81186

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