A strong structuration theory study of public-private partnerships in Indonesia

  • Dian Permatati

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

    Abstract

    The emergence of public-private partnerships (PPPs) to deliver public infrastructure is seen as attractive to governments in terms of the benefits it offers including value for money (VFM), risk transfer to the private sector, a better quality of public services, and non-upfront budget. The Government of Indonesia (GOI) as an emerging economy, has promoted the employment of PPPs while also facing challenges in forming a robust PPP policy particularly for road infrastructure.
    PPP projects heavily rely on the support of stakeholder involvement (the public agencies, private sector, and public as society). As most studies only focus on success and failure factors from government and private perspectives, this fails to fully capture democratic processes such as transparency, accountability and public interest are not fully captured in the making of PPPs. It raises important questions whether PPPs are really for the public benefit, and how to incorporate transparency, accountability, and public interest in the regulatory process of PPP adoption.
    This research examines how PPP decision-making is made in the Indonesian context. The aim is to understand of the influence of the external structures embedded in the political, economic, and social factors that drives the adoption of PPPs. Furthermore, this research attempts to gain careful interpretation of the decision-makers’ understanding of PPPs. This research investigates the rationales behind the PPP adoption, the process of regulatory making, the valuation techniques used in the business case, and whether and how the public interest is taken into account in the decision-making processes.
    The more advanced version of structuration theory developed by Stones (2005), namely Strong Structuration Theory (SST), is employed as a theoretical lens to understand how a set of external and internal influences affect PPPs and how those impacts are differently comprehended by the agents-in-focus and agents-in-context. There is an urgent call to systematically investigate how political, economic social, and organisational influences affect managerial judgment in PPP policymaking. Hence, this research takes an ontological perspective to understand how PPPs are made as a policymaking process. Given the political change (the change of government administration) and the economic conditions (the impact of the 1998 economic crisis), this research delivers a distinctive opportunity to explore how PPPs are made in the emerging economy context with limited resources available.
    The contextual importance leads to a critical interpretive approach using case study methodology. The data sources include document analysis and focused interview. The interviews are conducted from key actors in several institutions involved in PPP decision making using the two PPP road projects case studies in Indonesia. The quadripartite nature of structuration (QNS) of the SST framework is used to determine the active agencies involved between the external and internal structure. The interpretations are drawn from their perspectives toward PPPs in the Indonesian context, to further reconstruct the role of agents in creating structures-agents relationship in PPP decision-making. SST suggests the role of subjective judgments and individual perception is accentuated in the making of PPPs.
    Date of Award2023
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDavid Carter (Supervisor), Bomikazi Zeka (Supervisor) & Harun Harun (Supervisor)

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