Driving Program Delivery Forward? A Case Study of Owner–Supplier Collaboration in Infrastructure Development

Bresnen, Mike and Lennie, Sarah-Jane (2023). Driving Program Delivery Forward? A Case Study of Owner–Supplier Collaboration in Infrastructure Development. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management [Early Access].

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/tem.2023.3282743


Despite the growth of interest in collaborative working on major public sector projects and programs of work, research on the processes and dynamics of relational contracting in this context is still scarce. Yet, such research can generate important insights into the enabling and inhibiting conditions of collaboration in such institutional contexts, as well as more widely; it can also add to our understanding of what relational contracting means in practice for public sector organizations expected to operate in more commercial ways. This article delivers on these aims by examining the case of a U.K. government body responsible for delivering major new programs of infrastructure development, which was embarking on a journey toward collaborative working with its main suppliers. Research was conducted over a two-year period and data were collected via interviews, direct observation, and documentation. The principal contribution of the research is in demonstrating the fundamental impact that internal organizational structural/cultural conditions have upon shaping external relational contracting (and vice versa) and how the dynamics of the relationship created divergence in the trajectories of collaboration across projects, with resultant implications for achieving wider program integration.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 90633
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1558-0040
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  • © 2023 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
  • Keywords
  • alliances; collaboration; infrastructure; programs; projects; public sector
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  • Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) > Business
    Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
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  • © 2023 IEEE
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