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Cognitive distance in public procurement and public–private partnerships: An analysis of the construction sector

Annalisa Caloffi () and Francesca Gambarotto ()

Environment and Planning C, 2017, vol. 35, issue 5, 765-783

Abstract: Public–private partnerships (PPPs) are understood as collaborative devices that can be used to achieve both efficiency and innovation. For this potential to be realized, however, some significant obstacles to effective collaboration must be overcome, such as the cognitive distance that often separates public and private agents. In order to deepen our understanding of the collaboration problem, this article assesses the size and characteristics of cognitive distance by looking at agents operating in the construction industry in Italy and Slovenia. Our analysis detects the presence of different types of cognitive distance in different socio-economic contexts, suggesting that cognitive distance is not simply the outcome of individual intentionality but also of social context. We argue that there is constructive room for policies supporting the efficiency and diffusion of PPPs that will facilitate the emergence of context-specific intermediaries to smooth the progress of collaborative work.

Keywords: Cognitive distance; cognitive misalignment; public–private partnerships; public procurement (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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