The deflation of a management concept soufflé? – the emergence of new consultancy roles in Danish Public Private Partnerships
Paper in proceedings, 2013
Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is part of a new public management agenda. They recast the roles, tasks and responsibilities of public organisations. And open for private players, not only delivering (outsourced) services, but also consulting on the establishment of PPP.
The aim of this paper is to discuss and analyse how PPP, through changing roles of the involved actors blurs the boundaries between private and public occupations, and whether consulting develop new occupations, activities and/or competences. The method uses a palette of data collection and field studies of the Danish development of PPP, including interviews of five experienced PPP consultants. The analysis revolves around six selected “tools” used in the PPP process and shows that several forms of consulting and new competences of consulting do emerge. This occurs as PPP is entering an institutionalisation process, for example when the state makes it obligatory to do feasibility studies. However only in a small sample, buildings are delivered following the PPP-model, whereas the vast majority of public building projects since 2004 have commenced without employing the PPP framework. The institutional process is thus rather partial, which impacts directly on the volume of new consultancy. Moreover existing public roles changes only slightly in the procurement process; financing and facilities management is taken over by private players in only a few realised projects. There is a tendency that engineering consultancy loses terrain, but the existing roles for management consulting, other consulting and building companies have been maintained to a high degree, also as a result of consultancy companies maintaining the boundaries between types of consultancy. Thus what appears to have been envisaged by the state reformers and management consultants as a major reform turns out to be a limited practice as the soufflé deflates.