IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Motivation, commitment and the use of incentives in partnerships and alliances


  • Mike Bresnen
  • Nick Marshall


The use of incentives in partnering and alliancing has been seen as an important way of reinforcing collaboration in the short term and helping to build trust between clients and contractors in the long term. Yet only rarely has the impact of incentives on such relationships been discussed, let alone subjected to systematic investigation. This is despite a wealth of theory and research which brings into question the use of incentives and reinforcers as ways of generating motivation and commitment. Drawing upon this theoretical knowledge base and using evidence from a number of case studies of partnerships and alliances, this paper demonstrates how a number of important cognitive and social dimensions affect the use and impact of incentives, sometimes in ways contrary to those intended. The conclusion drawn is that there are important limitations to the use of incentives as means of reinforcing collaboration and developing commitment and trust, and that this raises questions more generally about the assumptions that underlie many of the practical 'tools and techniques' commonly associated with partnering and alliancing.

Suggested Citation

  • Mike Bresnen & Nick Marshall, 2000. "Motivation, commitment and the use of incentives in partnerships and alliances," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(5), pages 587-598.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:18:y:2000:i:5:p:587-598
    DOI: 10.1080/014461900407392

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rose, Timothy & Manley, Karen, 2011. "Motivation toward financial incentive goals on construction projects," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 765-773, July.
    2. Lauri Koskela & John Rooke & Mohan Siriwardena, 2016. "Evaluation of the Promotion of Through-Life Management in Public Private Partnerships for Infrastructure," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-23, June.
    3. Tang, Wenzhe & Li, Zhuoyu & Qiang, Maoshan & Wang, Shuli & Lu, Youmei, 2013. "Risk management of hydropower development in China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 316-324.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:18:y:2000:i:5:p:587-598. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.