Marco Schouten (UNESCO – IHE Institute for Water Education)
« Exploring strategies of water services providers »
Lieu: IAE de Paris
Abstract: This study concerns an analysis of the implications of governmentally motivated institutional changes in the water supply and sanitation (WSS) sector. Over the last two decades the institutional landscape in the WSS sector has changed dramatically, in particular due to the influence of neo-liberalism on the sector. However, both the theoretical and empirical evidence of the value of neo-liberal changes is ambiguous for the water sector. The study at-hand diverges from previous studies by taking ‘strategy’ as an intermediary variable between institutional changes and possible shifts in performance. An analytical framework is constructed for the assessment of the strategies of water service providers using notions from strategic management literature. The framework is applied in a survey with responses from 96 senior managers of 49 water services providers located in several Western European countries. The results from the study confirm the hypothesis that strategies of water providers within different institutional environments diverge. In this regard, the conclusion opens a window for new research both on understanding better the relation between institutional changes and conduct of WSSS providers, and on the relation between conduct and performances of WSS providers.