Policy Transfer and the Sustainability of Public Private Partnership in Ireland: A conceptual analysis

Gail Sheppard, Matthias Beck

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

There has been private sector involvement in the delivery of public services in the Irish State since its foundation. This involvement was formalised in 1998 when Public Private Partnership (PPP) was officially introduced. Ireland is a latecomer to PPP and, prior to the credit crisis, was seen as a ‘rapid follower’ relying primarily on the UK PPP model in the procurement of infrastructure in transport, education, housing/urban regeneration and water/wastewater.  PPP activity in Ireland stalled during the credit crisis, and some projects were cancelled, but it has taken off again recently with part of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Plan 2016 – 2021 to be delivered through PPP showing continuing political commitment to PPP.  Ireland’s interest in PPP cannot be explained by economic rationale alone, as PPP was initiated during a period of prosperity. We consider three alternative explanations: voluntary adoption – where the UK model was closely followed; coercive adoption – where PPP policy was forced upon Ireland; and institutional isomorphism – where institutional creation and change was promoted to aid public sector organisations in gaining institutional legitimacy. We find evidence of all three patterns, with coercive adoption becoming more relevant in recent years. Ireland’s rapid uptake of PPP differs from other European countries, mostly because when PPP was introduced in 1998, the Irish State was in an economic position where it could have directly procured necessary infrastructure. This paper therefore asks why PPP was adopted and how this adoption pattern has affected the sustainability of PPP in Ireland.  This paper defines PPP; examines the background to the PPP approach adopted in Ireland; outlines the theoretical framework of the paper: transfer theory and institutional theory; discusses the methodology; reports on findings and gives conclusions.   
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-15
Number of pages15
Publication statusAccepted - 19 May 2016
EventIrish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference, 19th – 20th May, 2016. - Waterford Insitute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland
Duration: 19 May 201620 May 2016

Conference

ConferenceIrish Accounting & Finance Association Annual Conference, 19th – 20th May, 2016.
Abbreviated titleIAFA Conference 2016
CountryIreland
CityWaterford
Period19/05/201620/05/2016

Keywords

  • Public private partnership
  • Sustainability
  • Financial crisis
  • Republic of Ireland

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Policy Transfer and the Sustainability of Public Private Partnership in Ireland: A conceptual analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this