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Governance of major public investment projects: in pursuit of relevance and sustainability

Ole Jonny Klakegg (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)
Tore Haavaldsen (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 25 January 2011




The ultimate purpose of this paper is to report on a research thesis that contributes to making public projects more relevant and sustainable. The objective of this paper is to make readers aware of the thesis. The objective of the thesis was to develop a deeper understanding of how governance frameworks can contribute to such development. The research study aimed at developing new knowledge about governance frameworks and how they influence major public projects.


Critical realism was chosen for the research as an ontological and epistemological position. A whole array of different research methods are used, ranging from theoretical analysis to group processes, in dept interviews and a survey. Document studies and triangulation support the conclusions.


The research is structured around five research questions including identifying the most important governance functions in an owner perspective, how to design a governance framework, what are the most important problems that lead to lack of relevance and sustainability, what characterizes an effective improvement strategy for governance frameworks, how to charge public infrastructure investment projects with the right direction and level of ambitions. The questions are thoroughly answered in the thesis.

Practical implications

This research contributes to both project governance and project management through a more clarified interface between these two spheres. The thesis offers practical help to those involved in developing or improving governance frameworks for major projects.


The thesis offers new insight in the interplay between governance functions and management functions, challenges in developing and implementing governance frameworks, adds new awareness about the lack of logic and consistency in current Norwegian projects. Its greatest potential is in its contribution to relevant infrastructure investment projects with sustainable effect.



Jonny Klakegg, O. and Haavaldsen, T. (2011), "Governance of major public investment projects: in pursuit of relevance and sustainability", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 157-167.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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