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Rotter, Julia Patrizia and Özbek, Nurgül, 2010. Private-Public Partnerships (PPP) : collaborating for a sustainable business in Sweden. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Economics

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In theory, the logic behind partnerships is simple: All organisations have strengths, but no organisation has all the strength required to do everything. Triggered by global perspectives and challenged by sustainability objectives, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 pointed out needs for corporate responsibility. In this conference, Private-public partnership, PPP, was identified as a potential way to work towards sustainability, especially as a way to emphasize a corporate responsibility commitment. Nowadays, organizations exist to satisfy the needs and interests of all their stakeholders, such as customers, markets, shareholders, as well as secondary stakeholders such as media, NGOs, and society at large. Addressing all stakeholders and working towards a sustainable business development makes PPP a potential solution, but also a source of challenges. Therefore, PPP has been also described as a form of art, given that today’s leaders have to manage their businesses in a world of complicated issues and uncertainties. So the question arises, what are the challenges and motivators from a corporate perspective? And within this context, what are the perceived conditions for PPP to be a part of SBD strategy?

Food retailers have a special function given that they are the link between consumers and food producers and therefore have somewhat a negotiating and influencing role. The focus of this project is to describe different conditions for a perceived successful PPP from a retailer’s perspective. It is based on a comparative case analysis of three major retailing companies in Sweden (ICA, COOP and Axfood). Given that these retailers combined own more than 85% of the Swedish retail market for Fast Moving Consumer Goods, the findings in this project carry importance in the future development of the industry. NGO perspectives from Rädda Barnen, WWF and Naturskyddsföreningen have been taken into account to provide a holistic analysis. Further, this project is based on an exploratory and qualitative research methodology, aiming at understanding underlying rationale and reasons beyond what a quantitative study could provide. Interviewees were chosen with representative persons in each organization. After the theoretical framework was developed in a careful review, we decided on a stakeholder and network theory, Charter & Polonksy's (1995) concept of motivators and challenges and Sustainable Business Development strategies by Rainey (2006).

This study aimed at understanding why and how PPP is approached, what are the motivators and challenges perceived. The findings are similar to the ones pointed out in previous literature, yet it seems that PPP is used rather as an operational tool than as part of a holistic management strategy such as Sustainable Business Development (SBD). Access to knowledge was found to be the main common motivator for PPP, whereas on the challenges side there was a wider confusion. The governance and structure of the organization seem to have a significant impact on how and why the PPP is managed, where network ties are rather weak. Further, it seems that long-term perspectives are not in the immediate stakeholder analysis, where private organizations need to be more inclusive and actively addressing stakeholder's interests.

PPP can be constructive and effective way to address sustainability issues, yet it should be taken seriously as the concept that it is; a holistic approach that requires respect, commitment, trust, transparency and reciprocity. Yet, this is highly dependent on time, assuming that the concept of time exists and is valid. Finally, clear objectives and constant dialogues with all stakeholders are key factors for a successful PPP.

Main title:Private-Public Partnerships (PPP)
Subtitle:collaborating for a sustainable business in Sweden
Authors:Rotter, Julia Patrizia and Özbek, Nurgül
Supervisor:Mark-Herbert, Cecilia
Examiner:Ferguson, Richard
Series:Examensarbete / SLU, Institutionen för ekonomi
Volume/Sequential designation:609
Year of Publication:2010
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM005 Environmental Economics and Management - Master's Programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Economics
Keywords:Collaboration, retailer, Partnership, private, public, PPP, Sustainable Business Development, SBD, Corporate Responsibility, CR, Sweden
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Economics and management
Social sciences, humanities and education
Deposited On:25 Aug 2010 08:48
Metadata Last Modified:20 Apr 2012 14:15

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