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Mission Impossible for Effectiveness? Service Quality in Public–Private Partnerships

Chapter

Abstract

Departing from the assumption that private sector involvement increases efficiency and effectiveness, many Western governments create public–private partnerships (PPPs) for the delivery of public services and public infrastructure. It is argued, however, that quality might be at stake when, in search of financial optimization, private firms take over responsibility. Although the validity of the quality-shading hypothesis has been explored in the context of privatization and outsourcing, this is not the case in the context of PPPs, and, given the importance of PPPs for public policy, this is surprising. In order to shed light on whether service quality is shaded in PPPs and how this can be explained, this study analyzes project members’ perceptions of service quality in four PPPs. Based on 66 interviews, this study demonstrates which conditions determine quality in PPPs and concludes that quality is neither safeguarded nor a priori better protected.

Keywords

Effectiveness Service quality Public-private partnerships Public values 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Autonomous University MadridMadridSpain

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