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Partnering in major contracts: Paradox and metaphor

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neil Alderman, Chris Ivory



Partnering seeks to re-cast relations between actors in projects by promoting the use of collaborative, more open, less managerial and less hierarchical relationships. The advantages of partnering for project participants include better communication leading to improved learning, more informed decision making and increased effectiveness. In this paper we draw on two case studies to show how changing commercial pressures, in the context of already fragile relationships, can quickly lead to the abandonment of partnering. Partnering contracts require a high level of commitment from suppliers, not least in resource terms, and so their potential failure must be regarded as a source of risk. To manage this risk, and make more informed decisions about the relationships they are entering into, we caution that project actors, particularly those occupying commercially weak positions in the relationship, take a hard look at the risks as well as the benefits. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alderman N, Ivory C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Project Management

Year: 2007

Volume: 25

Issue: 4

Pages: 386-393

Print publication date: 01/05/2007

ISSN (print): 0263-7863

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4634

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2007.01.002


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