In public–private partnerships (PPPs), the collaboration between public and private actors can be complicated. With partners coming from different institutional backgrounds and with different interests, governing these partnerships is important to ensure the projects' progress. There is, however, little knowledge about the perceptions of professionals regarding the governance of PPPs. This study aims to exlore professionals' viewpoints about governing PPPs, and to explain potential differences using four theoretical governance paradigms. Using Q methodology, the preferences of 119 public and private professionals in Canada, the Netherlands and Denmark are explored. Results show four different viewpoints regarding the governance of PPPs. Experience, country and the public–private distinction seem to influence these viewpoints. Knowledge of these differences can inform efforts to govern PPPs and contribute to more successful partnerships.