M. van den Hurk
- On the fast track?
- Using standard contracts in public-private partnerships for sports facilities: A case study
- Sport Management Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 20 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Public–private partnerships (PPPs) for the provision of public infrastructure involve costly contracting processes. Standard contracts are modularly structured documents, which provide standard terms for these processes; it is argued that they help reduce transaction costs by limiting the room for contractual negotiations. We investigate the use of standard contracts in an embedded case study of a PPP policy program in the Belgian sports sector, and apply notions of standardization theory and transaction cost economics to explain the differences in the success of using these contracts. On the basis of desk research and interviews, our study demonstrates both successful and unsuccessful usage of standard contracts across a range of subcases, which include artificial pitches, sports halls, and multifunctional sports centers. Unsuccessful cases were characterized by an interference of local governments’ interests that was poorly managed by the leading public actor, and a persistently rigid attitude at the negotiation table of this latter actor. We further relate the different degrees of success to inappropriate government responses to the assets at hand. Finally, we proclaim a more cautious approach toward the standardization of contracts, both in theory and practice.
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