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Coordinating for service delivery in public-private partnership and private finance initiative construction projects: early findings from an exploratory study

Rowe, Andrew D. and Tranfield, D. and Smart, P. and Levene, R. and Deasley, P. and Corley, J. (2005) Coordinating for service delivery in public-private partnership and private finance initiative construction projects: early findings from an exploratory study. Proceedings of the institution of mechanical engineers Part B journal of engineering manufacture, 219 (1). pp. 165-175. ISSN 2041-2975

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Abstract

This paper presents the early findings of an extensive literature review and an exploratory empirical investigation into five UK construction organizations and outlines the management and organization design issues in introducing service delivery based on teamworking practices in construction. In particular, it highlights the challenges facing the industry in transitioning from prioritizing an asset delivery focus to a service delivery focus (SDF), especially when delivering private finance initiative and public private partnership types of project. The paper argues that introducing SDF cultures requires addressing issues commonly encountered in today's dynamic business environment, driven by the need to work collaboratively across organizational boundaries over long complex project cycles. Cultural change in this context is argued to be an emergent phenomenon resulting from the interconnectedness of a web of networks coexisting at the industry, organization, and project levels in a dynamic open system, prone to constant reconfiguration. This paper articulates the preliminary findings of an exploratory study that initiates much-needed understanding of how whole-life serviceability can be leveraged in construction projects. In essence, a network perspective of organizational design is enunciated, which suggests that 'teamworking' is the key to coordinating 'design for service delivery' across projects, across functions, across organizations, and over time (often 30 years plus). This dominant networked organizational form on which teamworking practices are focused is identified as the 'special-purpose vehicle' (SPV), an intermediary organization that is often the fundamental mechanism for project delivery. Further areas of research associated with the operations of SPVs are highlighted.

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