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International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 30 December 2020

Jan Terje Karlsen

Trust in how projects are managed is important because leaders have the power to make decisions that impact project outcomes. Steering committees provide strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

Trust in how projects are managed is important because leaders have the power to make decisions that impact project outcomes. Steering committees provide strategic direction and governance for projects and they support the project manager. The purpose of this paper is to study how steering committees contribute to governance and trust. More specifically, the aim is to explore, which steering committee features and governance mechanisms are important for building trust.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data were collected using in-depth interviews. The studied case concerns the Norwegian Navy’s experience with a steering committee in the project of building new frigates.

Findings

Findings show that the steering committee had a significant impact on governance and trust in the project. The identified governance mechanisms performed by the steering committee included: control and performance measurement, support, decision-making, relationship management, reporting, resource management, risk management and strategic focus.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the limitations of studying only a single case, the findings may provide general learning, as well as important practical information and experience to managers interested in the role of the project steering committee.

Practical implications

The paper provides key managerial implications that project owners should take into account when organizing a steering committee. The analysis identifies composition, competence, authority, responsibility, commitment and continuity as steering committee features that contribute to building trust. Findings particularly highlight the choice to include external steering committee members to be successful.

Originality/value

This research extends the current understanding of how through different features and governance mechanisms a steering committee can build trust in the management of projects.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2021

Hang Vo, Richard John Kirkham, Terry Mervyn Williams, Amanda Howells, Rick Forster and Terry Cooke-Davies

Effective and robust governance of major projects and programmes in the public sector is crucial to the accountability of the state and the transparency of state spending…

Abstract

Purpose

Effective and robust governance of major projects and programmes in the public sector is crucial to the accountability of the state and the transparency of state spending. The theoretical discourse on governance, in the context of projects and programmes, is not fully mature, although is now sufficiently well developed to warrant an increased scholarly focus on practice. This paper aims to contribute to the empirical literature through a study of assurance routines in the UK Government Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP).

Design/methodology/approach

A framework analysis approach to the evaluation of a subset of GMPP database generates original insights into (1) the framing of assurance review recommendations, (2) the treatment of assurance review data and (3) the subsequent tracking of the implementation of actions arising from the assurance review process.

Findings

The analysis reveals that the “delivery confidence” of the major projects and programmes included in this study improves during the time that they are assured on the GMPP. This would suggest that “enhanced” governance routines are desirable in programmes and projects that exhibit high degrees of complexity and scale.

Originality/value

The research findings contribute to the wider conversations in this journal and elsewhere on project governance routines and governance-as-practice in the context of government and public services.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2020

Alireza Talebi and Davar Rezania

Governance of projects is a dynamic process that involves the interaction of agents, opportunities, rules, instruments and legitimacy. The authors conducted a case study…

Abstract

Purpose

Governance of projects is a dynamic process that involves the interaction of agents, opportunities, rules, instruments and legitimacy. The authors conducted a case study of the governance of exploratory projects in public procurement of innovation in a local government. The authors consider both contextual aspects that impose requirements on the procurement process and procedural aspects of how the different actors interact with each other. In particular, the purpose of this study is to investigate how actors make sense of the projects and how governance evolves over their lifetime.

Design/methodology/approach

To engage in an open-system investigation of exploratory public procurement of innovation (PPI) projects, the authors adopted a case study approach in which they collected a variety of data including publicly available documentary evidence, interviews with project participants and project evaluation reports. The authors used transcripts of 17 interviews with project participants conducted independently to gain an initial understanding of the case. They conducted additional semi-structured interviews with projects’ participants (ten interviews in total) and used theory-driven analysis (Pawson and Tilley, 1997) based on Borrás and Edler’s (2014) model of governance.

Findings

The authors identified four stages – problem identification, partner selection, partnership development and evaluation and commercialization – these projects. The case demonstrates how governance changes in each stage and at the three levels of policy, network and projects. Each level has its own governance pillar. The results suggest that a multi-level perspective (MLP) can be a fruitful framework to study governance of projects in these contexts.

Research limitations/implications

The authors note that the number of participants in the network of this case is not very large. Other organizations that aim to adopt PPI may need to pay attention to the complementarity and the number of partners in the network. In this case, organizations were motivated to collaborate as each had its own objectives which were distinct but complementary.

Practical implications

Co-creation of value is currently a topic of interest for public policy reform across the globe. The case indicates that procurement for innovation requires a degree of coordinated change across governmental departments, such as planning, legal and procurement to implement the policy and related support systems. Furthermore, the authors observed that a portfolio approach to inter-organizational collaboration with different partners was effective. Each partner has its own objective, but they complement one another. A portfolio of different, though complementary, inter-organizational arrangements enables various complementary instruments and various logics to be used.

Social implications

The public sector is an important actor in driving innovation in products and services that fulfill societal needs. This is explored in public procurement of innovation. In this process, several partners from private and public sectors are involved. This partnership is mainly used to co-create the value and encourage innovation to benefit the citizens. However, to serve this goal, the case indicates that procurement for innovation requires a degree of coordinated change across governmental departments, such as planning, legal and procurement to implement the policy and related support systems. For this phenomenon MLP should be used as an inclusive framework to study socio-technical change.

Originality/value

The analysis of the case presented in this study demonstrates that even in the case of temporary public procurement of innovation projects, governance is layered. The three pillars of governance not only interact at each layer but also communicate across layers. Even though the interaction of the three pillars of governance is well established in the literature on socio-technical change, the interaction across levels in the context of temporary projects is novel. The authors contribute to the literature on governance of such projects by highlighting the stratification of governance.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2020

Miguel Solís-Molina, Miguel Hernández-Espallardo and Augusto Rodríguez-Orejuela

This study aims to investigate how contractual vs. informal governance influences the performance of collaborative innovation projects considering their exploitation vs…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how contractual vs. informal governance influences the performance of collaborative innovation projects considering their exploitation vs. exploration character.

Design/methodology/approach

Data are collected from a sample of 218 companies that have developed innovative projects in collaboration with other organizations. Regression models are estimated to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The results indicate that contractual governance is the most effective for co-exploitation projects compared to informal governance. Specialization in either contractual or informal governance is more effective for co-exploration projects.

Practical implications

Developing collaborative innovation projects with other organizations is an alternative for firms to innovate either by exploiting complementary assets or by exploring new opportunities. Thus, the success of the collaborative innovation project is significantly affected by the way the collaboration is governed. On the one hand, for co-exploitation projects, companies should rely on contracts to improve their performance. On the other hand, for co-exploration projects, governance may specialize in either contracts or informal mechanisms to reach higher performance.

Originality/value

Despite previous studies analyzing the effect of contractual or informal governance on the performance of collaborative innovation projects, no research has focused on comparing simultaneously these effects, by using the innovation character of the project of co-exploitation or co-exploration as a moderator. Therefore, this paper explores comparatively the most effective type of governance mechanism for co-exploitation and co-exploration projects.

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Stephen Keith McGrath and Stephen Jonathan Whitty

To determine if there is confusion in governance terminology amongst experienced management and project management practitioners.

Abstract

Purpose

To determine if there is confusion in governance terminology amongst experienced management and project management practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

Practitioner interviews and subsequent analysis.

Findings

Significant differences in governance terminology were found. The participants had nevertheless arrived at similar operating arrangements for their committees, even though they came from different segments of different industries and did not agree on the definition of governance. It was possible to develop a list of working parameters for operation of these committees from their responses. The labelling of committees associated with governance as steering or decision-making was found to be problematic and various causes/motivations for the differing definitions of governance having arisen were detected. These ranged from altruism, through dogmatic belief in particular frameworks, to enhancing career prospects/ego.

Research limitations/implications

The sample came from organisations and industries in one state in one country. The need for review of governance terminology used in various project management practitioner reference documents and methodologies was identified.

Practical implications

Projects and business alike can potentially achieve improvements in efficiency and effectiveness through consistency of terminology and the clarity this brings to governance arrangements and committee operations.

Social implications

Creation of a unifying feature within the project and management literature, shifting the understanding of governance and its boundaries and limitations. This will help progress governance from complexity to simplicity, from an art to an understandable practice, from a concept that has been hijacked for partisan and political gain to a lean social tool which can be put to use for the benefit of organisations, whether public, charitable or private.

Originality/value

The value is clarity – resulting in the avoidance of confusion and misunderstanding together with their consequent waste of time, resources and money.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2019

Raymond Young, Wenxin Chen, Ali Quazi, Warren Parry, Adrian Wong and Simon K. Poon

Project governance has been linked to project success because top management support is necessary for projects to succeed. However, top managers are time poor and it is…

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1288

Abstract

Purpose

Project governance has been linked to project success because top management support is necessary for projects to succeed. However, top managers are time poor and it is not clear which project governance mechanisms are effective for project success. The purpose of this paper is to address this issue and identify project governance mechanisms that correlate with success.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a quantitative study. A theoretical model of project governance was developed and tested with secondary industry data gathered from 51 global organisations and 66,817 responses.

Findings

The results found five project governance mechanisms (Vision, Change, Sponsor, KPI and Monitor) significantly correlate with project success and are effective at different stages in the project lifecycle.

Originality/value

Earlier research has found a relationship between project governance and project success but it has not been specific enough to guide top managers in practice. This is the first research to take this next step and identify project governance mechanisms that correlate with project success. One finding of this research that has particular value is the identification of when in the project lifecycle a particular governance mechanism is most effective.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2011

Ole Jonny Klakegg and Tore Haavaldsen

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…

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2037

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 5 March 2018

Simon von Danwitz

The management of major inter-firm projects requires a coherent, holistic governance framework to be effective. However, most existing models of project governance are…

Abstract

Purpose

The management of major inter-firm projects requires a coherent, holistic governance framework to be effective. However, most existing models of project governance are limited to a narrow selection of contractual, structural or procedural aspects, and further neglect contextual factors, such as key characteristics of a project and its partners. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper proposes an integrative analytical model of inter-firm project governance, building upon contingency theory and drawing from established constructs rooted in organization theory.

Findings

The paper aims to integrate two largely distinct streams of research and synthesize the respective constitutive dimensions of project governance into a coherent conceptual model. Further, interrelationships with contextual factors, such as project-related and partner-related characteristics, and project performance are discussed.

Originality/value

The proposed model purposefully merges two complementary streams of project governance research. As the model further provides clear contextual factors, it strengthens an emerging stream of project research by systematically examining external influences of project organizing. Future research may utilize this model and the suggested operationalization for each of the constructs as a basis to empirically investigate the design and effectiveness of governance regimes of major projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2017

Hallgrim Hjelmbrekke, Ole Jonny Klakegg and Jardar Lohne

The purpose of this paper is to describe how the concepts of business models and project governance can enhance value creation in building projects.

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1483

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how the concepts of business models and project governance can enhance value creation in building projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on theory derived from management literature, the authors outline a framework combining a project’s business case and governance functions with the business model of the design team. This was tested in two major projects and evaluated in three expert workshops.

Findings

The research reveals that the business model of the design team focus on efficiency rather than on the client’s strategic objectives. This entails a need for project governance functions. The framework presented shows promising capability of aligning the project with client strategy. The authors believe there is significant value in transferring these ideas and knowledge across national boundaries.

Practical implications

The research identifies a gap between business objectives and outcome. The value creation approach in the client organisation diminishes into the way project governance is implemented in some projects. The conceptual framework provides the industry with a new tool for improving its knowledge and practice.

Originality/value

First governance model derived from strategy theory that combines strategy and governance in one holistic model.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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