The public construction client of the future: Network-based collaborator in a traditional public administrative system

Lizet Kuitert*, Leentje Volker, Marleen H. Hermans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

In the construction industry, public and semi-public clients increasingly depend on private parties to achieve project outcomes by adopting network type of governance approaches. However, social-political responsibilities remain at the public side. Hence, the general challenge for public commissioners is to find a new balance between dependency and responsibility when safeguarding competing traditional and network values. Based on three qualitative studies of a PhD project on safeguarding public values by public construction clients, applying concepts from public administration and public value theory, this paper presents three lessons learnt on future roles and responsibilities. We argue that future 'good' commissioning should be 1) more about embedding new value systems and less about changing existing values mechanisms, 2) more about paradox thinking in a convener role and less about trade-offs in a steering role and, 3) more about informal accountability in the value chain and less about formal accountability in the project chain. To ensure the 'right' kind of interference in the value process, public clients' way of coping with publicprivate conflicts, needs to correspond with the internal governance arrangements, and vice versa. Further research should focus on facilitating this alignment by providing a public value safeguarding strategy tool for public construction clients.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationARCOM 2020 - Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 36th Annual Conference 2020 - Proceedings
EditorsLloyd Scott, Christopher J. Neilson
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Pages265-274
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780995546332
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event36th Annual Conference on Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2020 - Virtual, Online, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Sep 20208 Sep 2020
Conference number: 36

Conference

Conference36th Annual Conference on Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2020
Abbreviated titleARCOM 2020
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityVirtual, Online
Period7/09/208/09/20

Keywords

  • Dependency
  • Public service
  • Public value management
  • Responsibility

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