Institutional logics and hybrid organizing in public-private partnerships
Paper in proceedings, 2018
Cross-sectoral collaboration has been touted as a solution to a range of problems in various sectors. In the construction context, public-private partnerships have recently given promises of increased productivity and innovative solutions through business models combining logics and governance structures from both the public and private sectors. Little is, however, known about how partnerships are established to combine different logics in response to competing institutional demands. Drawing on a study of a municipality's efforts to create cost efficient services, we analyse the formation of two partnerships as emerging hybrid organizations in the intersection between four institutional logics. We show how different logics are mobilized in the process of shaping the partnerships in response to the institutional pluralism and complexity they face. On this background, we discuss how the contours of two different forms of hybrid organization emerged, even though the partnerships initially operated and responded similarly to the institutional demands. We conclude that partnerships can be seen as 'trading zones' that follow different trajectories in coping with institutional demands, and hence the development of hybrid organizational forms.