Configuration, collaboration and complexity in strategic partnerships: An institutional inquiry conducted from the inside of a strategic partnership in Danish construction

Publikation: Ph.d.-afhandling

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In this thesis I examine the phenomenon of strategic partnership that has
gained a foothold in Danish construction in recent years. A strategic
partnership is materialised through a tender based on a framework
agreement, and the subsequent formation of a partnership organisation
comprised of the client organisation and the winning consortium.
Tendering and formation of strategic partnerships has previously been
touted a way to cope with complex problems that characterise modern
construction by cultivating long-term collaborative relationships across
the construction value chain in the formed partnership organisation. The
overall research objective of this study is to obtain an understanding of
how strategic partnerships develop collaborative relationships to address
and potentially solve complex problems.

The title of the thesis ‘Configuration, collaboration and complexity in
strategic partnerhips’ refers to three specific aspects of strategic
partnerships that I examine and describe in this thesis. The subtitle ‘An
institutional inquiry conducted from the inside of a strategic partnership
in Danish construction’ emphasises that the study is a single-case study
conducted in a strategic partnership and that the applied theoretical
framework is based on concepts from institutional scholarship. More
specifically, the examined case is the strategic partnership between the City
of Copenhagen's client organisation ‘ByK’ and the consortium ‘TRUST’.

In the conclusions, I find that a specific organisational structure and five
components are perceived legitimate for strategic partnership
configuration. I also find that collaborative relationships are developed
through formation of a partnership organisation, identity work and
distribution of authority and responsibility in the organisation. Finally, I
find that processual, spatial and material responses are developed in
strategic partnerships to deal with complexity. The thesis contributes with
knowledge about how the strategic partnership between ByK and TRUST:
(1) arrange and rearrange components to form and develop the desired
strategic partnership, (2) develop their contractual relationship into a
collaborative relationship and (3) deals with challenges, incompatible
prescriptions and different ambitions.
  • Gottlieb, Stefan Christoffer, Hovedvejleder
  • Thuesen, Christian Langhoff, Bivejleder, Ekstern person
  • Sørensen, Anders Strange, Virksomhedsvejleder, Ekstern person
  • Thinggaard, Kim, Virksomhedsvejleder, Ekstern person
Eksterne samarbejdspartnere
ISBN'er, elektronisk978-87-7210-944-2
StatusUdgivet - 2021

Bibliografisk note

PhD supervisor:
Senior Researcher Stefan Christoffer Gottlieb, Aalborg University, Department of the Built Environment

Assistant PhD supervisor:
Associate Professor Christian Langhoff Thuesen, Technical University of Denmark DTU Management

Industrial supervisors:
Head of Sustainability Anders Strange Sørensen, Enemærke & Petersen a/s Partnership Director Kim Thinggaard, Enemærke & Petersen a/s


  • samarbejde
  • kompleksitet
  • hybrid organisationer
  • institutionelle logikker
  • strategiske partnerskaber
  • handelszoner
  • byggebranchen
  • styring
  • infrastrukturudvikling
  • organisatorisk rum
  • programledelse
  • artefakt
  • grænsearbejde
  • tværsektorielt partnerskab
  • materialitet


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