Critical review on PPP Research - A search from the Chinese and International Journals

Shang Zhang, Ping Chuen Chan, Yingbin Feng, Hongxia Duan, Yongjian Ke

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

187 Citations (Scopus)


A significant number of literatures have concentrated on diverse issues related to Public-Private Partnership (PPP) both in China and abroad. However, there is no systematic analysis on the PPP research progress and status in Chinese journals, which is worth investigating because China is one of the largest PPP markets globally. In addition, there are many PPP publications in international journals based on the context of China. A comparative study is still missing between the PPP publications in Chinese journals and international journals. This paper hence aims to conduct a critical review of PPP publications from selected first tier Chinese journals and international journals. Based on a three-stage literature review research framework, 615 and 70 high quality research papers on PPP topics were selected from Chinese and international journals in the last decade between 2005 and 2014, respectively. Main research methods, research topics and research findings were then identified through content analysis and statistical analysis methods. It is found that in these two journals the frequently adopted research methods are case study, literature review, modeling, questionnaire survey and comparison; and the popular research topics include PPP models and their application, risk management, financing and economic issues, legal and procurement issues, government regulation and guarantee. Comparison analysis results show that in terms of order of popularity, there are more similarities in the research topics than research methods in Chinese and international journals. The outcomes of this paper contribute to the PPP body of knowledge through summarizing PPP research in Chinese journals and international journals in the context of China. In addition, the findings are valuable for Chinese researchers to embark future research on PPP. This paper also breaks the language barrier and enriches western researchers a better understanding of the research status of PPP in the context of China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-612
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


  • China
  • Chinese journals
  • International journals
  • Public-private partnership
  • Research
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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