Competence Centers

The PPP Research Center team comes from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, including business, management, international relations, and global governance. The team has expertise in methodologies as diverse as systems approaches, narrative and network analyses, and longitudinal studies. In addition, it initiates further interdisciplinary research and teaching projects within and outside the University.


Research activities

The team’s research activities focus on investigating partnership structures and strategies, as well as developing partnership evaluations and applying systems approaches to PPPs.

  • Partnering strategies: Collaborating, coopetition, managing boundaries, sharing responsibilities.
  • Partnership structures: Configurations, design; power, relationships.
  • Systems approaches: Partnerships are essentially a complex intervention in development. The more complex the intervention, the more systems thinking is needed to enable a comprehensive analysis and assessment of a partnership’s system-wide processes and effects. Despite recent enthusiasm for systems thinking in sustainable development, few existing studies explore the relationships and interconnectedness between diverse PPP system elements or other characteristics of complex systems, such as the non-linearity of effects or time. The team focuses on systems, building on existing expertise to embark on an exciting new way of researching and evaluating PPPs.
  • Evaluating partnerships: "What are PPPs accountable for, and to whom?” This is the research question motivating the team’s new line of enquiry. The team will combine existing research extending conventional PPP evaluations (Stadtler, 2015) with a systems approach to offer an innovative and attractive toolkit for evaluating PPPs’ systemic properties and impacts.


Selected Publications

Stadtler L.
Tightrope Walking: Navigating Competition in Multi-Company Cross-Sector Social Partnerships
Journal of Business Ethics forthcoming

Stadtler L. & Lin H.
Leveraging Partnerships for Environmental Change: The Interplay between the Partnership Mechanism and the Targeted Stakeholder Group
Journal of Business Ethics forthcoming


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