Partnership Characteristics, Network Behavior, and Publicness : Evidence on the Performance of Sustainable Development Projects

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

18 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-499
Journal / PublicationInternational Public Management Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


This study examines partnership characteristics, network behavior, and publicness in the complex policy arena of sustainable development (SD). The study is set in Hong Kong, a city moving away from command-and-control policy instruments to the use of partnerships and stakeholder engagement. It is contended that network partnership characteristics of commitment, equity, mutuality, and trust together with network behavior will vary by the degree of publicness but collectively contribute in a positive manner towards the performance of SD projects. Data were collected from members of 28 SD advisory committees/representative organizations (a 57% response rate) and resulted in a usable dataset of 53 SD projects. Results of analysis indicate that government, business, and civil society SD project members do not perceive major differences between partnership characteristics and perceived project performance but do in relation to network behavior. Multiple regression analysis suggests that trust contributes towards perceived project performance, as do the network behavior characteristics of private sector and civil society group actors; however, for the latter group, network behavior is negatively correlated with project performance. The conclusion discusses implications of these findings for the study of SD projects in Hong Kong and beyond. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.