Competency Requirements for Managing Public Private Partnerships (PPPs): The Case of Infrastructure Projects in Jordan

Ali M. Mistarihi, Mohammad S. Al Refai, Bader Ayed Al Qaid, Marzouq A. Qeed


Managing public-private partnership (PPP), particularly in the implementation phase, is both theoretically and
practically complex with success largely determined by how well partnerships are managed. Yet, several PPP
scholars have noted that little is known about the management competency requirements to effectively manage
in a PPP settings; that is described as different from traditional hierarchical ‘command-and-control’ management
forms, and have called for further research to understand this ‘black box’. This research has provided a
wide-ranging account of the most significant ‘soft-management’ competency requirements to effectively mange
in such a multi-organizational environment. It is suggested that PPP managers should be able to cope with, adapt
to and be flexible to respond to changes that are frequent occurrences during the course of the partnership. Being
patient and self-motivated were also qualities PPP managers should possess. Social and interpersonal skills,
‘scoping in/out’ ability, conceptual skills, project management skills, and, communication and coordination skills
were also sets of skills important to effectively manage in a PPP settings. Further, PPP managers should also
have sufficient technical and project management experience, as well as experience in negotiation and arbitration.
PPP managers should be knowledgeable and qualified to manage the construction, operational and the financial
aspects of the PPP project. They should also be familiar with, and use specialized programming and scheduling
techniques. The findings of this research were based on data collected from in-depth interviews with 21 partner
managers in two case study organizations in Jordan.

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