Capability development measures adopted by public sector organizations in PPP projects delivery in developing countries

Publication Date30 Mar 2020
AuthorBetty Oluwafunso Olojede,Akintayo Opawole,Godwin Onajite Jagboro
SubjectPublic policy & environmental management,Politics,Public adminstration & management,Government,Economics,Public finance/economics,Taxation/public revenue
Capability development measures
adopted by public sector
organizations in PPP projects
delivery in developing countries
Betty Oluwafunso Olojede
Department of Quantity Surveying, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Akintayo Opawole
Department of Quantity Surveying and Construction Management,
Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, University of the Free State,
Bloemfontein, South Africa, and
Godwin Onajite Jagboro
Department of Quantity Surveying, Faculty of Environmental Design and
Management, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the measurespracticed by public sector organizations
(PSOs) to develop their capability and strength toward attaining the skills requirements for public-private
partnership(PPP) program.
Design/methodology/approach The study adopted a quantitative approach based on primarydata
obtained via questionnairesurvey. The literature review provided the basis for identicationof variables that
were evaluated through structuredquestionnaire survey. The respondents were professionals in PSOs that
have procured PPP projects in Southwestern Nigeria. These were sampled through the drawingof referral
chain, involving respondents-driven sampling technique.The data collected were analyses using descriptive
and inferentialstatistics.
Findings The capability development measuresof PSOs in PPP projects delivery clustered around ve
components: conventional practices, training and development, organizational practices, human capital
enhancement and government-aided intervention. These ve components of capability development
measures are expected to be focused with adequateand equal interest and embraced by PSOs in countries
with evolvingPPP markets.
Social implications The study provides implications for domestic human capital strengthening for
enhancedinfrastructure delivery in countries with evolving PPP markets.
Originality/value This study contributes to the existingliterature on capabilities improvement on PPP
projects. This was achieved by providing empirical evidences with respect to human resource boost for
enhanced performance of public sector organizations in their partnership with their private sector
counterpartsfor PPP project success.
Keywords Public sector organizations, Public-private partnership, Infrastructure, Capability development
Paper type Research paper
A wave of scholarly approaches has been explored to actualize the delivery of infrastructural
services via ublic-private partnership (PPP) in Nigeria (Opawole and Jagboro, 2017;
Received30 January 2019
Revised31 July 2019
13November 2019
Accepted10 February 2020
Journalof Public Procurement
Vol.20 No. 2, 2020
pp. 145-161
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/JOPP-01-2019-0007
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Babatunde et al., 2015;Awodele et al., 2012). The quest for the introduction of organizational
approaches to achieve the performance and sustainability of the PPP is evident in the generated
interests of PPP studies on critical success factors (CSFs) and capability maturity (Babatunde
et al., 2016,2012;Dada and Oladokun, 2012). CSFs were asserted to foster the achievement of
organizational and performance goals together with competiveness (Ram and Corkindale, 2014;
Fortune and White, 2006;Bullen and Rockart, 1981). The growing interest of the Nigerian
government to bridge infrastructural decit evident by the increased level of public
infrastructure procurement via PPP has yielded unsatisfactory projects outcome (Opawole and
Jagboro,2017, 2016;Adegoke et al., 2010). While a few of the infrastructure have been
completed and functioning (for example: Lekki-Epe road, Lagos; Lekki-Ikoyi interchange,
Lagos), some are behind schedule and at partial completion stage (for example; Ayegbaju
International Market, Osogbo). Some projects have also experienced a change of contract
agreement from PPP to traditional procurement approach (for example; Lagos-Ibadan
highway) and some are protracted with court injunctions (for example; Muritala Mohammed
Airport 2, Lagos). PPP projects in Uganda were established by Nsasira et al. (2013) to
experience poor quality services and time overrun. These project failures were attributed to
haphazard organizational arrangement and management for PPP projects in the Ugandan
PSOs. World Bank (2016) identied weak management structure and poor capability of
Zambian PSOs for PPP project delivery as the cause of project failure experienced in the 20-
year concession of the Zambian Railway System. Flyvbjerg (2014) asserted that weak
capability of PSOs for PPP projects delivery inuence PPP projects failure of time overrun, cost
overrun, partial completion, abandonment and unmet projected benets. EIU (2015) added that
the shortage of skilled staff with training and experience for PPP projects delivery in PSOs in
Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Ghana contribute to the failure of projects in the countries.
Empirical evidence attributed the poor delivery of PPP projects in Nigeria to low
capability maturity level of PSOs at maturity level 1-2, that is, between immature leveland
managed level (Babatunde et al.,2016). The inuence of the maturity level of the PSOs on
the state of PPP infrastructure cannot be overemphasized because of the lead and steering
roles that the PSOs play in PPP projectsprocurement, governance and delivery (Rhodes,
1996). Slyke (2003) added that inadequate commitment of PSOs to in-house capability
development contributes to low capability level of PSOs in PPP projectsprocurement and
performance of projects. McCann et al. (2014) support Gould-Williams (2003) on the
importance of human resource (HR) practices as PPP in-house capability development
strategies for PSOs to enhance their performance. The HR practices are implied by
Transaction Cost Theory (TCT) to be costs incurred by PSOs to boost their requisite
expertise for complementary relationship with their private sector counterparts, while
keeping opportunism in check (Williamson, 1975). McCann et al. (2014) emphasized the
development of the in-house capability set of PSOs at individual PPP project level that is
similar with the level of expertise of private sector organizations. Their emphasis was
founded on the experience of capability gap between the public and private party in the
delivery of PPP projects in Australia and the United Kingdom. In the cases, the public
partners had to pay high market rates for longer than necessary and were unable to deal
with skills-gaps by sudden withdrawal of private partners in the management of PPP
projects. The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has embraced several initiatives to
strengthen the collaboration between the public and private sector for successful PPP
projects delivery, yet the effects on projects delivery have not been worthwhile. Among
these were PPP national and regional development initiatives [NEPAD (2009);
Public-Private Partnership Forum] and development of capability of PSOsinitiative in

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