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Coping with lack of authority Extending research on project governance with a practice approach
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2017 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 10, no 2, 244-262 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore alternative coping strategies that may compensate for the limitations of weak governance structure in a product development project. Design/methodology/approach - The findings are based on a single case study, including interviews and documents, of a product development project that consists of two interlinked projects in a large multinational company. Findings - Two distinct procedures are identified to cope and manage effectively when there are weak project governance structures. The first procedure is a horizontal process of operational consensus-seeking where conflicts between projects are negotiated and resolved through communication between independent actors such as two project managers who are at the same hierarchical level within the same organization. The second process is a vertical process of strategic escalation where issues that have failed to be resolved are shifted upwards to a new hierarchical level where a new round of operational consensus-seeking is attempted. Research limitations/implications - This paper complements the existing understanding of project governance with a project-as-practice perspective. Based on the findings the authors suggest that project governance needs to be nuanced in its understanding since a too-structured approach may in fact increase tensions in an organization. Practical implications - Practical insights include how organizations may work with its project governance structures in order to avoid tensions. The authors suggest that, in particular, politically sensitive situations may be avoided by weak rather than strong governance structures. Social implications - The authors find that weak governance structures may be efficient for the organization, but harmful to personnel, who become too focused on the task at hand. Originality/value - To the best of the authors' knowledge very little research has been attributed to project governance from a practice approach. Moreover, most attention has been given to strong structures, thereby not examining the positive implications of weak structures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
EMERALD GROUP PUBLISHING LTD , 2017. Vol. 10, no 2, 244-262 p.
Keyword [en]
Governance, Innovation, Product development, Coping strategies, Project-as-practice, Project managers
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-136092DOI: 10.1108/IJMPB-04-2016-0036ISI: 000401027500002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-136092DiVA: diva2:1108965
Available from: 2017-06-13 Created: 2017-06-13 Last updated: 2017-06-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf