The evolution of public–private partnership in Ireland: a sustainable pathway?

Gail Sheppard, Matthias Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
1583 Downloads (Pure)


Ireland is a latecomer to Public Private Partnership (PPP) having only adopted it in 1998. Prior to the credit crisis, Ireland followed the UK model with PPPs being implemented in transport, education, housing/urban regeneration and water/wastewater. Having stalled during the credit crisis, PPP has been reactivated recently with the domestic infrastructure stimulus programme . The focus of this paper is on Ireland as a younger participant in PPP and the nexus between adoption patterns and sustainability characteristics of Irish PPP. Using document analysis and exploratory interviews, the paper examines the reasons for Ireland’s interest in PPP which cannot be attributed to economic rationales alone. We consider three explanations: voluntary adoption – where the UK model was closely followed as part of a domestic modernisation agenda; coercive adoption – where PPP policy was forced upon public sector organisations; and institutional isomorphism – where institutional creation and change around PPP was promoted to help public sector organisations gain institutional legitimacy. We find evidence of all three patterns with coercive adoption becoming more relevant in recent years, which is likely to affect sustainability adversely unless incentives for voluntary adoption are strengthened and institutional capacity building is boosted.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Early online date07 Jul 2016
Publication statusEarly online date - 07 Jul 2016


  • commercial sensitivity
  • isomorphism
  • new public management
  • policy transfer
  • public private partnership
  • transparency


Dive into the research topics of 'The evolution of public–private partnership in Ireland: a sustainable pathway?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this