An External Perspective on Partnerships: A Thesis on External and Internal Influences on Public-Private Partnership

Christina Larsen & Didde Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In recent years, Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) have gained popularity as a tool for problem solving of environmental and societal issues. It is of common understanding that the combination of public and private resources delivers greater value and strengthen the legitimacy of both organisations. The existing literature primarily investigates PPPs from an internal perspective focusing on the organisation, public and private motivations, and how internal variables create challenges. The literature however fails to include external variables and the implications of a partnership’s external environment. The thesis therefore seeks to investigate the link between the external and internal variables and how they can influence a public-private partnership’s value creation. The research is based on a case study investigating the Danish public-private partnership ProjectZero, and includes five interviews with prominent actors in ProjectZero, and contributes to the existing literature on challenges and value creation in PPPs. The main findings of the research are how external variables, such as normative pressures for participating in other cross-sector collaborations, influences the partnership’s internal relations and motivations. External variables have shown to create internal challenges in combining the different priorities, but are also in this case perceived to add value to the partnership. The interaction with other collaborations and the external environment adds value internally in form of increased legitimacy and confidence in the overall vision of the partnership. The thesis concludes that value creation in PPPs should be assessed in relation to the context of the involved organisations, and thereby adds an external perspective to the existing literature.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Organizational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2020
Number of pages116
SupervisorsVerena Girschik