Trust is acknowledged to have a positive impact on cooperation and performance in publicprivate partnerships (PPPs). Research has provided recommendations on how to build trust in inter-organisational contexts and PPPs specifically, but less attention has been paid to ways of effectively repairing trust when it breaks down. This study was designed to address that gap. An overview of the interpersonal and inter-organisational trust literature was conducted to provide a clear conceptual framework detailing which trust repair strategies successfully result in trust repair and under which conditions. Armed with this framework, this research took a two-step qualitative approach: first, an initial in-depth case study informed by both stakeholder interviews and document analysis was conducted. This was followed by a secondary analysis of interviews from a wider range of PPP stakeholders which served as triangulation for the case study findings. 15 in-depth interviews were conducted in total. The results revealed that verbal accounts, structural solutions and structured events can successfully result in trust repair in PPPs, but that success is contingent on facilitating conditions such as the use of a complementary strategy which caters to the personal side of relationships. These conditions differ according to the strategy; general guidelines were therefore elucidated to promote the success of each strategy. The research findings were integrated to an updated theoretical framework for the purposes of informing future research. Actionable recommendations for PPP practitioners were outlined on the basis of findings, forming a toolkit for successful trust repair. Finally, specific pathways for future research were proposed.

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Dr. Ir. Jasper Eshuis
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Melanie Mackay. (2022, August 7). Trust repair strategies in public-private partnerships and their potential for success. Public Administration. Retrieved from