Monday, November 4, 2019

Conflict of Interests in Public-Private Partnership Essay

Conflict of Interests in Public-Private Partnership - Essay Example The growingly complex societal problems and processes have heightened the reliance of the public sector on private groups so as to attain its goals and accomplish its duties. These societal problems, as well as the inherent conflict of interests between the public and the private sector are typified by a great extent of wickedness. Wicked problems are those conflicting matters confronting the public sector that demand a consolidated partnership by public and private sectors. The civil society, industries, and governments are not capable of addressing these problems independently (Dewulf, Blanken, & Bult-Spiering 2012). This essay analyzes the assumption that the conflict of interests within public-private partnership (PPP) is a wicked problem. Public-Private Partnership: A Wicked Problem Keith Grint, exploring the social framework of leadership, defined a ‘wicked problem’ as follows (Grint 2007, p. 11): A wicked problem is complex, rather than just complicated, it is oft en intractable, there is no unilinear solution, moreover, there is no ‘stopping’ point, it is novel, any apparent ‘solution’ often generates other ‘problems,’ and there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, but there are better or worse alternatives. Wicked problems within public-private partnership are characterized as recurrent or persistent problems, often defined by indecision and conflict over interests or purposes that could influence the process of decision-making (Hodge & Greve 2005). According to Grint (2005), there are no simple solutions to these wicked problems confronted by PPP. Remarkable progress can be achieved in mitigating them, but they will not be totally eradicated. But the question is, why are PPP problems considered wicked problems? First of all, organizing or forming PPP is complex due to the challenge of bringing together the objective and interests of the numerous stakeholders— the private s ector is composed of lenders, investors, and firms supplying operational and construction services; on the other hand, the private sector is made up of public officials developing and enforcing PPP guidelines, those acquiring the PPP, and the public or citizens who utilize the infrastructures that a PPP offers (Biggs & Helms 2007). Practically all of these stakeholders need to have essential knowledge of the monetary and policy matters, and how their role in the project is connected to and influenced by them. There is a clear agreement in the literature implying that the private sector performs some things excellently, the public sector other things. Theoretically, and ideally, PPP could unite the best of both worlds, but the question is, is this really happening in the actual world? All wicked problems are basically specific and unique. In other words, they are context-specific (Harris, Brown, & Russell 2012). The conflict of interests within PPP is context-specific. The public sec tor focuses on shared aims, management, and public interests. It is well-adjusted to public criticism, employment issues, â€Å"policy management, regulation, ensuring equity, preventing discrimination or exploitation, ensuring continuity and stability of services, and ensuring social cohesion (through the mixing of races and classes for example, in the public schools)† (Rosenau 2000, p. 218). In other words, the context of the public sector is directed at social responsibility. It possesses local awareness and familiarity with demanding and challenging populations.

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