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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: 22 November 2018

Stephen Keith McGrath and Stephen Jonathan Whitty

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the confusion among project management practitioners about the role of steering committees.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the confusion among project management practitioners about the role of steering committees.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with highly experienced participants selected from a range of industries and disciplines in Queensland, Australia.

Findings

Six separate confusions on the role of steering committees were identified within that practitioner community. However, despite participants expressing various opposing views, they had actually come to the same working arrangements for their committees; all that was missing was a common conceptualisation of these working arrangements and consistent terminology.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides clear evidence to the academic literature that confusion over the role of steering committees actually exists within the practitioner community and identifies six separate ways in which this occurs. It also identifies a problematic error in the widely used PRINCE2 governance model. Clarity in committee governance arrangements will facilitate future research endeavours through the removal of confusion surrounding committee labelling and accountability.

Practical implications

A committee decision tree model that guards against all six confusions is proposed for practitioner use, providing a means of avoiding unnecessary internal conflict within organisational governance arrangements. It can be used to check terms of reference of existing or proposed committees, facilitating organisational efficiency and effectiveness. The suggested renaming of project control groups to project coordination groups, and discontinuance of the practice of labelling committees that cannot authorise their decisions as either steering committees or boards, further supports this.

Social implications

Reconciliation of terminology with actual practice and the consequent clarity of governance arrangements can facilitate building social and physical systems and infrastructure, benefitting organisations, whether public, charitable or private.

Originality/value

Clarity regarding committee accountability can avoid confusion, misunderstanding and their consequent waste of time, resources and money.

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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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Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2016

Shoko Yamada

This chapter will examine the interplay among actors who took part in the process of consensus building towards a post-2015 education agenda via different channels of…

Abstract

This chapter will examine the interplay among actors who took part in the process of consensus building towards a post-2015 education agenda via different channels of global governance, including both formal and informal channels.

Most of the forums and entities established as part of the global governance structure are composed of representatives from UN or UNESCO member states, civil society organizations (CSOs) and UN agencies. However, each of these categories has diverse constituent groups; representing these groups is not as straightforward a task as the governance structure seems to assume. Therefore, based on interviews and qualitative text analysis, this chapter will introduce major groups of actors and their major issues of concern, decision-making structure, mode of communication and relationship with other actors. Then, based on an understanding of the characteristics of the various channels and actors, it will present the structural issues that arose during the analysis of post-2015 discourse and the educational issues that emerged as the shared concerns of the ‘education community’. While most of the analysis to untangle the nature of discourse relies on qualitative analysis of texts and interviews, the end of this chapter will also demonstrate the trends of discourse in quantitative terms.

What was the post-2015 discourse for the so-called education community, which in itself has an ambiguous and virtual existence? The keywords post-2015 and post-EFA provide us with an opportunity to untangle how shared norms and codes of conduct were shaped at the global scale.

Details

Post-Education-Forall and Sustainable Development Paradigm: Structural Changes with Diversifying Actors and Norms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-271-5

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Book part
Publication date: 20 December 2013

Ann Ruzow Holland

William R. Freudenburg’s work contributes to an understanding of how local and external factors influence environmental quality through land-use planning and growth…

Abstract

William R. Freudenburg’s work contributes to an understanding of how local and external factors influence environmental quality through land-use planning and growth management. A recent Adirondack planning study (Ruzow Holland, 2010) explores and analyzes, through the methodological lens of Participatory Action Research (PAR), how the town comprehensive planning process evolved within the community of Willsboro, New York (2010 Population 2025). Access to knowledge, technology, and deliberative decision making reduces the power of the “Privileged,” including external influences, to control the rate and type of local land development. The analysis illustrates the conversion point(s) of Freudenburg’s sociology of knowledge, power, and natural resources with the lessons learned from a place-based PAR, land-use planning project.

Details

William R. Freudenburg, A Life in Social Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-734-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1987

Janet Shuter

A research project which began with specific intentions and ended by doing something entirely different is presented as a case history and evaluative report in Part I of…

Abstract

A research project which began with specific intentions and ended by doing something entirely different is presented as a case history and evaluative report in Part I of this monograph. The report narrates and comments on the events which led to changes in direction; attempts to identify and explore factors which influenced outcomes, and derived generalisations applicable to other funded research. Part II — a series of guidelines and check‐lists on the conduct of research and the presentation of business reports — is based on Applied Business Research courseware produced by the Faculty of Professional Studies of the International Management Centre from Buckingham.

Details

Library Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-5124

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Article
Publication date: 17 May 2021

Mohamed Esmail Elmaghrabi

This study aims to explore the set of corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee attributes that may enhance CSR performance and CSR strategy formation and reduce CSR…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the set of corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee attributes that may enhance CSR performance and CSR strategy formation and reduce CSR controversies.[AQ1] Towards this end, the study also explores the differences between companies with and without CSR committees in terms of these three CSR performance facets.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a sample of financial times stock exchange (FTSE) 100 non-financial companies in 2015–2017. Kruskal-Wallis test is conducted to test the differences in CSR performance in firms with CSR board-level committee, CSR management committee and no committees. Additionally, a regression model is used to explore the attributes of CSR committees that lead to better/less CSR performance and CSR strategy/CSR controversies. A two-stage least squares regression model was used as a robustness check.

Findings

Firms with board CSR committee have better CSR performance and CSR strategy and lower CSR controversies than both firms with no CSR committees and firms with a CSR management committee. Regression results show that CSR committees that are predominantly consisting of independent board members, chaired by a female director and setting more meetings have better CSR performance. Additionally, CSR committees were found to have lower CSR controversies when having more independent directors and a chair with CSR expertise. CSR strategy was better with the CSR committee represented by a larger group of members.

Originality/value

This study makes several contributions to the sustainability governance literature and regulatory/guidance interfaces. There is extant literature examining audit committee attributes and their effects on various firm outcomes. The same can be said on the regulations of the audit committee. CSR committees’ composition and benefits are, by far, less regulated and largely under-researched. Hence, this paper is considered an early attempt to explore the CSR performance improvements a CSR committee may bring and the composition that would bring better CSR performance.

Details

Corporate Governance: The International Journal of Business in Society, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1997

States that, in literature, hardly any practical methods, including both methodological and organizational aspects of implementing statistical process control (SPC), are…

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Abstract

States that, in literature, hardly any practical methods, including both methodological and organizational aspects of implementing statistical process control (SPC), are described. Presents a method including both aspects. The methodological part consists of a ten‐step method used by multi‐disciplinary teams. The organizational part includes four phases and an organization structure to implement SPC. The method was applied successfully in various organizations. Discusses the experiences and underlying goals of the framework to enhance its applicability in various situations. Finally, attention is given to the use of SPC to set the stage for total quality management.

Details

International Journal of Quality Science, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8538

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Book part
Publication date: 18 December 2007

Cecile G. Betit

This chapter presents William (Bill) H. Carris's distinctive organizational design for a positive and practical model of 100% employee-governance in the movement toward…

Abstract

This chapter presents William (Bill) H. Carris's distinctive organizational design for a positive and practical model of 100% employee-governance in the movement toward 100% employee-ownership of the Carris Companies, a manufacturer of wood, plastic, and metal reels in six United States locations and one in Mexico. The positive approach in the redesigning of the Carris Companies’ corporate governance was distinguished by the commitment to teach employees the business, the one-person, one-vote provision, the discounted sale price, and a transparent accountable model for decision-making. Multiple theories of corporate governance and organizational design are applied within this case. The analysis suggests that the Carris Companies’ commitment to its positive design facilitated its adherence to its long-term vision of shared ownership and governance, independent of upturns or downturns in the industry and economy. Further, not only were these fundamental to organizational success, the efforts by the Carris Companies contribute to the growing fields of positive design and positive organizational scholarship.

Details

Designing Information and Organizations with a Positive Lens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-398-3

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

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36

Abstract

Details

Circuit World, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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