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  • 1.
    Bergh, Pontus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Learn or die: the development of an assessment framwork for SME entrepreneurial learning programmes2011In: International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, ISSN 1468-4330, E-ISSN 1741-8127, Vol. 11, no 1, p. 92-109Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The unique features of entrepreneurial learning, that involves multiple dimensions, are not easily captured and today few appropriate assessment frameworks exist. The aim of this paper is therefore to develop an assessment framework for entrepreneurial learning and empirically illustrate its potential on a specific SME learning program. Based on a survey of owners/managers who took part in the government supported learning program, krAft, an exploratory factors analysis and a regression analysis were conducted. The paper proposes a two dimensional framework of cognitive and social/emotional learning outcomes where both are strongly correlated to internal efficiency but only the social/emotional outcomes are correlated to external effectiveness. The paper therefore concludes that the mere focus on cognitive learning outcomes is not enough in order to successfully act upon business opportunities. Hence, the social/emotional learning dimension is of great importance, and should be utilized, in the development of arranged SME learning groups.

  • 2.
    Biedenbach, Thomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The Open Secret of Values: The Roles of Values and Axiology in Project Research2016In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 47, no 3, p. 139-155Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this article is to explore the roles and potential benefits of axiology and value theory in project research. This is done through (1) an exploration of the essentials of axiology and value theory; (2) a review focused on how values have been used in project research; and (3) a reflection based on the historical–logical development of—and paradigmatic influences on—projects and their management. It is concluded that project research would benefit from a more encompassing philosophical treatment of axiology beyond merely acknowledging values as a thematic concept or as part of a project management methodology.

  • 3.
    Burström, Thommie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The Informal Liaison Role of Project Controllers in New Product Development Projects2013In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 410-424Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the liaison role of project controllers in new product development (NPD) projects.

    Design/methodology/approach – This paper is based on a case study of an industrial new product development project. In total, 68 in-depth interviews were conducted and 32 meetings were observed. Using an inductive approach, this paper scrutinizes the roles of three specific individuals – their formal role as project controllers and their informal role as liaisons.

    Findings – The study found that project controllers play a crucial part in the everyday work of projects – both formally and informally. Project controllers undertake important liaison activities that are not a part of their formal roles in which they extend their responsibilities to include informal activities such as peacekeeping, probing, nailing, process implementation and streamlining.

    Practical implications – This paper argues that managers must identify and acknowledge the importance of informal liaisons and liaison activities among project members because such activities are of crucial importance for the facilitation of communication and for work-flow coordination. By viewing the project controller as someone who is “dressing the project in numbers”, the role can be understood as a support function aimed at close interaction and cross-functional learning, rather than a function aimed at distant supervision and control.

    Originality/value – This paper provides important insights into informal aspects of project roles and the everyday work of project controllers.

  • 4.
    Burström, Thommie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    The role and importance of `Glue People' in projects2011In: The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, ISSN 0973-8479, Vol. V, no 1, p. 7-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Almost 40 years ago the importance of liaison roles was pointed out. The liaison role, which is described as managerial means to achieve coordination amongst different knowledge domains by facilitating communication, has been a subject of extensive interest during the years. Most of this interest has either focused on (1) the liaison position with no decisional authority, formal power, but is formally established, or (2) the integrating manager which is a formal position with recognized formal authority. This paper aims at highlighting the importance of liaisons, or`glue people', in projects. Based on a theoretical underpinning of projects as temporary organizations this paper analyses hands-on project work. The analysis is based on two comprehensive in-depth qualitative case studies, one in the construction industry and the other in the truck industry. Both of these cases focus on the actual everyday work of the project participants. In this paper we argue that `glue people' possess specific soft skills such as: the ability to facilitate communication among professional groups, create commitment, and reduce uncertainty. These are all important skills in order to handle the everyday complexity and manage the interdependent sets of diverse skills and knowledge domains present in temporary organizations. The paper concludes that `glue people' share some characteristics of formal liaisons and integrating managers, but that new novel explanations for understanding `glue people' are necessary.

  • 5.
    Burström, Thommie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Transition processes in an interorganizational platform project2012In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 400-419Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify and understand challenges related to transition processes that occur between projects and the permanent organisation, as well as the outcome of such processes.

    Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on an explorative, in-depth case study of a multi-project setting. The concept phase of three projects was followed by participative observations and ongoing interviews over a fifteen week period at two sites and in two countries. The empirical material was analyzed through a process-orientated approach focusing on daily project activities.

    Findings: Transition processes are characterized by containing operational complexities. These operational complexities demand from project stakeholders to perform multiple translational and transformative activities. The outcome from these activities are for example strategic, operational, and functional fine-tuning, but also attitudinal turnaround.  

    Research limitations/implications: This research is based on an interorganizational vehicle platform project setting. The findings from this study can therefore not with ease be generalized to other settings. However, it is likely that actors in other interorganizational project settings can benefit from the findings since there probably are a multitude of transition processes in such projects as well.

    Practical implications: Managers can learn that it is important to map all related transition processes, analyze the implications that these processes have on the project, and perform a dialog with project members so that the sense of operational complexity and uncertainty can be reduced. This type of action will reduce feelings of frustration and create a sense of readiness to deal with unexpected events.

    Originality/value: First the setting “an interorganizational vehicle platform” is largely understudied, second this paper pinpoints three unique transition processes and thereby contributes to the sparsely researched area of transition processes.

  • 6.
    Burström, Thommie
    et al.
    Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Integrating service practice into project management: a matter of “do or die”?2014In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 5-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze service management practices within a project management context.

    Design/methodology/approach: This research supporting conceptual developments was both exploratory and qualitative in nature and utilized an in-depth case study of a major product development project.

    Findings: The conceptual framework developed is applied to empirical observations of product development project. Because there is an adequate fit with observations, elements of a service management approach appear to be viable in the description, managing, and control of projects.

    Research limitations/implications: Because the research was built on a case study, one has the limitations common with that approach. Conversely, case studies are acknowledged as useful in the identification of important variables in situations in which there is little control over events in a real-world context.

    Practical implications: Customer satisfaction is a requirement of project organizations, which is an inherent requisite of any service organization. Consequently, one turns to those elements in the practice of service management that lead to best management practices.

    Originality/value: This paper contributes with a practice-based understanding of how project management is based on integrated service practice.

  • 7.
    Gaim, Medhanie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wåhlin, Nils
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    The role of space for a paradoxical way of thinking and doing: a study of idea work in architectural firms2018In: Creativity and Innovation Management, ISSN 0963-1690, E-ISSN 1467-8691Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is well established that engaging paradoxes and the role of space are important aspects of idea work. Although the significance has been recognized, studies that focus on the intersection between space and paradox are scarce. Accordingly, this article explores the intersection and focuses on the role of space in idea work characterized by paradoxes. More specifically, the aim of this article is twofold. First, the article aims at identifying the spatial conditions that enable organization members to think and act paradoxically. Second, the article aims at exploring how spatial conditions evoke a paradoxical way of thinking and doing. Based on three Scandinavian architectural firms, and through abductive inference, four spatial conditions are identified and outlined. The conditions are conceptualized as organized chaos, boundary(less)ness, premeditated spontaneity, and (re)framing. From the results, and through the discussion, the notion of “generative space” is introduced to explain the overall importance of spatiality, as well as how the interrelatedness of the conditions facilitates a paradoxical way of thinking and doing in idea work.

  • 8.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Embracing the drifting environment: The legacy and impact of a Scandinavian Project literature classic2012In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 695-713Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and analysis of the legacy of Christensen and Kreiner's (1991) literally classic Projektledning: att leda och lära i en ofullständig värld (Project Management: to manage and learn in an incomplete world).

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a three-step theoretical analysis deduced from the mentioned classic. The first step provides an overview of the content where the core ideas of the book are derived. This is followed by an analysis of the legacy and impact on theory, empirical approaches, and education. Finally, three main takeaways from the book are discussed.

    Findings – In tracking the legacy, the paper analyses, discusses, and illustrates how the Scandinavian approach to projects has evolved. It pinpoints the two core insights of the book; the importance of understanding the impact of the institutional environment on operations, and embracing uncertainty as a natural part of everyday organizational reality. Based on these insights it is shown how the book has expanded the theoretical contributions towards a focus on temporary organisations and everyday practice, how it has helped to make situated empirical research matter, and how it has influenced education to deal with real-life project challenges.

    Research limitations/implications – This paper investigates a book available only in the Scandinavian language and thus only available for a Scandinavian research community. As such the review is written from a Scandinavian perspective, with the limitations in terms of objectivity to the book that follow from that.

    Practical implications – The main lessons discussed in relation to the heritage from the book are: an increased focus on the details of organizing, situated multi-level case-studies, and situation-sensitive teaching methodologies. The paper argues that an increased understanding of projects should start with a detailed multi-level analysis of temporary organizing to provide a sound foundation on which to base future research and teaching.

    Originality/value – The paper provides an understanding of the origins and diffusion of underpinning ideas of the Scandinavian approach to project management.

  • 9.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    2012 Awards for Excellence2013In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 6, no 1Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    On the dynamics of coordination in temporary organisations2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As the development of coordination research have shifted away from a quest for environmental fit towards an interest in daily practices, new emergent and more dynamic dimensions have come to be at the centre of attention. In an attempt to take another step into the dynamics of coordination this paper addresses the question of how and owing to what the practice of coordination changes over time. The paper takes a processual stance towards understanding the conditions shaping the emergent, activity based coordination in a temporary organization. Based on a case study of a €100 million, five year long Swedish infrastructure project, the paper analyses the development process over the life cycle of the temporary organization. The paper is divided into two parts. The first part is based on a short historical review where a broad conceptualisation is presented that links traditional contingency theory ideas to time and the emergent practices that constitute the act of coordination. The second part – building on the first part – is based on empirically supported thematic theorizing and presents three empirically generated categories of social elements that explain the impact of time and processual development in relation to the coordination practice. The elements presented – incrementally increased understanding, a sense of affinity, and increasing reliance – capture the emergent social aspects that constitute the dynamics of the life cycle. The paper concludes with a suggestion that the theoretical areas of learning, socialisation, and trust could provide additional theoretical understanding of the development process of coordination and the presented categories.

  • 11.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    On the importance of liaisons for coordination of projects2011In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, ISSN 1753-8378, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 64-81Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to understand the collaborative aspects of the communication practice and illustrate the importance of role-related liaison devices for coordination in a project setting.

    Design/methodology/approach – A case study was made of a large Swedish partnering project focusing on the coordinative and communicative activities carried out within the project. It consists of 18 semi-structured interviews, three days of observations, meeting participations, document analysis, and was analysed with a theoretically supported thematic categorisation.

    Findings – The paper describes the communicative sub-processes of the project and analyses the link between them. The focus is placed on illustrating the importance of the project liaison as a crucial part of the coordination of the project. It is shown how the project liaisons; guides and coordinates the ongoing activities, translates and reduces information, creates space for the experience of the subcontractors, assists in coordinating unexpected situations, and therefore constitutes a crucial part of the success of the project.

    Research limitations/implications – From a project management perspective it is suggested that it is beneficial to identify, acknowledge, and create legitimacy for project liaisons in order to facilitate the coordination of the project. As the project liaison is shown to be of major importance it is also suggested that there is a need to further study the existence and role of liaisons within project organisations.

    Originality/value – The paper draws on organisational theory and therefore enriches the field of project coordination as it also includes and stresses the importance of the human actors.

  • 12.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Samordning och kommunikation i ett anläggningsprojekt: mellan en laminerad A3-karta och ett dike2008Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Denna licentiatavhandling behandlar den organisatoriska vardagen under ett anläggningsprojekts genomförandeprocess. Arbetet syftar till att med samordning och kommunikation som utgångspunkt beskriva och analysera ett anläggningsprojekts planering och utförande samt därefter specifikt belysa hur IKT används för samordningen och hur hållbarhetsfrågor samordnas. Fallstudien som ligger till grund för arbetet är genomförd vid ett partneringprojekt med Skanska och Jämtkraft som samverkanspartners. Projektet, vid namn Destination 2011, utgör en investering på ca 1 miljard SKR och har som syfte och mål att vädersäkra Jämtkrafts befintliga kraftnät för att minimera riskerna för elavbrott.

    I arbetets teoretiska ramverk sätts teorier rörande samordning och kommunikation i förhållande till ett projekts genomförande och organisatoriska kontext, i form av osäkerhet och komplexitet. Utifrån givna utgångspunkt har fyra övergripande kategorier av kommunikativa och samordnande situationer härletts – det strukturerade mötet, den spontana direktkontakten, den klassiska planeringen och den vedertagna praxisen. Kategorier som fångar samordning och kommunikation i förhållande till omgivningens inverkan.

    Från fallstudien och med stöd av den teoretiska ansatsen har därefter tre empiriska processer analytiskt identifierats – den planeringsdrivna, den reduktionsdrivna och den pragmatiskt drivna samordningsprocessen. Processer som länkar samman genomförandet och därigenom är betydelsefulla för att förstå varför samordningen och kommunikationen ser ut som den gör under ett projekts planering och utförande. Med hjälp av de tre nämnda processernas sätt att lösgöra och till viss del separera och strukturera uppgifterna mellan de olika yrkesgrupperna, möjliggörs arbetet, och kanske även minimeras, de slitningar och den kamp som annars riskerar att uppstå.

    Utifrån processerna åskådliggörs avslutningsvis influenserna på IKT och hållbarhet. Rörande IKT föreslås att det kanske inte främst är fysisk och geografisk distans som sätter hinder för tekniken, utan i stället samordningsprocessernas samspel och funktion – något som skulle innebära ett behov av ”processöverbryggande teknik”. Rörande hållbarhet så förklarar kopplingen till processerna hur viss miljörelevant information filtreras bort till förmån för ”det riktiga arbetet” men att det huvudsakliga miljöarbetet i all sin enkelhet syftar till att efterfölja lagens råmärken, samt kraven från för organisationen viktiga intressenter, ingen mer inget mindre.

  • 13.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Samordningens dynamik: om samordningens samspel och förändring i ett interorganisatoriskt anläggningsprojekt2011Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis takes its starting point from one of the most essential parts of organization theory, namely coordination. It joins a new and emerging approach within which coordination is not only treated as a function but as a dynamic process. The thesis reflects everyday practice during a major construction project and focuses on how coordination is undertaken, and how it develops over time. The aim is to create an understanding of the dynamics of coordination. This refers both to the interaction between different types of coordination that continuously take place in the process of carrying out collective performances, and to how the coordination changes over time.

    The case study, that is the basis of this thesis, was carried out from 2006-2010 in a large construction project with Skanska and Jämtkraft as contractual partners. The project – called Destination 2011 – corresponds to an investment of € 100-110 million and aims at securing Jämtkraft’s power distribution from severe weather conditions in order to minimize the risk of power blackouts.

    The theory chapter of the thesis has an integrative approach and is based on theories of coordination. On the basis of this a conceptual framework was developed that focuses on how coordination takes place and how it can change in relation to its context. This was done in three steps. First, coordination was defined, positioned and set in relation to the organizational context in terms of uncertainty and complexity. Second, five broad categories were derived which indicate how different organizational arrangements create coordination. Third, the integrating conditions which evolve from the organizational arrangements were presented. These integrating conditions are essential for the individuals to coordinate their activities.

    Based on the case study, and supported by the theoretical framework, a process-oriented analysis was conducted in four steps. The first step was a narrative case description which focuses on the development of the project and the activities that make up the project process. The second step consisted of a thematic theory driven analysis that explains how the project members use a combination of different organizational arrangements to create the integrating conditions required for the coordination to occur. The third step of the analysis was based on a process analysis combined with temporal bracketing. This step focuses on how the coordination is structured and enables the understanding of how the coordination changes over time. In this step two temporal brackets (or micro-processes) were created, the first of which represents a sub-project under the first half of the project, and the second a sub-project during the second half. For each micro-process an analysis was carried out which identified a number of coordination processes. These coordination processes link the implementation phase together and explain how, and why, the coordination is built up as it is during a sub-project. In the fourth and final step a comparative analysis was conducted with illustrative narrative sequences. This analysis puts the two micro-processes in relation to each other, illustrates how the coordination changes over time, and exposes the underlying forces that explain the identified change. These analyses, brought together, show the interaction between different types of coordination, how the coordination is built-up, and how it changes over time, thereby providing an understanding of the dynamics of coordination.

  • 14.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Understanding project communication in a construction process: The importance of project liaisons2009In: Proceeding of 5th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation, Reykjavík, 2009, p. 155-166Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Burström, Thommie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The Role of Transition in Temporary Organizations: Linking Temporary to the Permanent2013In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 576-586Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – This research note puts the role of transition back in the center of the temporary organization and lends to understanding the temporary organization as a transitory unit within the permanent organization. The purpose is to reactivate theory development within this field of research and promote a dialog that will point to a possible way forward.

    Design/methodology/approach – An intra-organizational perspective is taken. Backgrounds of the two theories are covered and then the temporary organization as a transitory unit, and the role of transition are addressed. One basic transformation is made in the theory of the temporary organization and then the model superposed on the behavioral theory of the firm.

    Findings – In total, four things were achieved. First, the conceptualization of temporary organization was simplified – five variables have been reduced to four in eliminating “action” as an element of description. Second, the conceptualization was extended to include constructs of the permanent organization. Third, the theory was strengthened by providing an extended framework that potentially could be examined to check observations against theory. Finally, some directions were suggested for future theory development to take.

    Research limitations/implications – The research note is conceptual, so applicability depends upon the nature of the particular organization to which it is applied.

    Originality/value – Although the paper is conceptual, the authors believe that the approach can be used to understand the interrelatedness of the temporary and permanent organization and to promote a dialog within this field of research – a dialog that hopefully will reactivate theory development.

  • 16.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Impromptu teams in a temporary organization: on their nature and role2016In: International Journal of Project Management, ISSN 0263-7863, E-ISSN 1873-4634, Vol. 34, no 4, p. 584-596Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The abundance and importance of temporary project teams in society introduces the need of understanding their nature. The purpose of this article thus is to highlight the existence of an only accidentally investigated type of team that we identify as Impromptu teams, and analyze their role in a temporary organization. Based on a detailed retrospective account of the infamous disaster on Mount Everest in 1996, we identify three examples of Impromptu teams. The three examples indicate that the teams are characterized by being triggered by an unexpected event, and formed through a bottom-up process, where joining the team is voluntary and the activities are based on a logic of appropriateness, rather than rule following. The identification and nature of Impromptu teams have implications far beyond Mount Everest, since most organizations at some point need to use teams similar to the identified examples.

  • 17.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The grabber: making a first impression the Wilsonian way2014In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 739-751Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of what a good grabber is and how to construct one. This is done by drawing on the insights provided by Professor Timothy L. Wilson, for whom this paper is written as an “honorary piece.”

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a small sample of papers from the 48 journals that have received contributions from Professor Wilson throughout the years. A total of 12 papers have been selected, using a mix of convenience and haphazard sampling. The grabber of each paper has then been analyzed based on its nature and style.

    Findings – Based on the review and analysis, five different types of grabbers were identified; the quote, the anecdote, the provocative question, the surprise, and the metaphor, each type representing a unique way (and strategy) of creating initial interest.

    Research limitations/implications – As this paper was intentionally based on a convenience sample, further investigation is needed to establish whether the presented categories have clear validity and/or whether there are additional categories/strategies for how to create good grabbers.

    Originality/value – Creation of interest is an increasingly important part of everyday academic practice. As the grabber is a rarely addressed phenomenon in academic literature, the presented categories should be of both interest and practical use to academics in most fields. 

  • 18.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Linde, Anneli
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Linderoth, Henrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    The relation between ICT and environmental-management practice in a construction company2009In: Organizational Communication and Sustainable Development: ICTs for Mobility, Information Science Reference , 2009Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 19.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Linderoth, Henrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    The influence of contextual elements, actors' frames of reference, and technology on the adoption and use of ICT in construction projects: a Swedish case study2010In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 13-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In contemporary research on construction-related ICT (information communication technologies), little distinction is made between the use of ICT in permanent line organizations and its use in temporary organizations (for example, in building and construction projects). This paper makes that distinction. The aim is to understand how the interplay among contextual elements, actors' frames of reference, and the ICT itself, influences the adoption and use of ICT in a building and construction project. This will be done through a description and analysis of a case study of ICT use in a major Swedish construction company. It is concluded that the well-defined duration of the temporary organization (the construction project) stands in sharp contrast to the generally indefinite duration of ICT-mediated change processes. However, by analysing the ICT application to be implemented, it can be revealed whether it can be 'ready packed' for, or delimited to, certain processes in order to achieve immediate benefits. When implementing more encompassing ICT applications, the challenge for the company is to find alternative ways of implementation in the project-based organization and of creating alternative spaces for innovation and renewal where new ICT can be tested and experimented with.

  • 20.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Linderoth, Henrik
    Högskolan i Skövde.
    User perceptions of ICT impacts in Swedish construction companies: ‘it’s fine, just as it is’2012In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 30, no 5, p. 339-357Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in construction companies has been growingsteadily during the last decade. However, few studies inquire into either perceptions of the impact of actualICT use or perceptions among different occupational groups in construction companies. The aim of thepaper is to explore users’ general perceptions of ICT impacts in the post-adoption stage and analyse theimplications for construction management practice. A mixed methods approach was used. Quantitative datawere collected using a web-based survey both in a major construction company and among medium-sizedcompanies in Sweden. Data from 294 returned completed questionnaires were analysed with t-tests andmultiple regression analysis. In addition, participant observations and semi-structured interviews were conductedwithin the major construction company in order to strengthen the analysis. It can be concluded thatrespondents are generally fairly satisfied with the ICT. Differences in perceptions among occupationalgroups can be explained by the nature of work tasks and the original intentions for using ICT as a means ofcontrol and calculation. Even if respondents perceive that a further development of ICT could improve competitiveness,they do not want to increase their use of it in their workplaces. They basically think that ‘it isfine, just as it is’. This indicates that a challenge in construction management is to investigate how prevailingand new ICT applications can be used to develop the industry.

  • 21.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Linderoth, Henrik
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    User perceptions of ICT in a major Swedish building and construction company2010Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in building and construction companies has steadily been growing during the last decade. However, just a few studies inquire perceptions of the ICT actually being used and perceptions among different professional groups in companies. The objective of this paper is to contribute to an enhanced understanding of general perceptions of ICT in building and construction companies and among professional groups by taking the point of departure in the concept of perceived usefulness. Data was collected by a web-based survey in two regional units of a major Swedish building and construction company. 257 completed questionnaires were returned which corresponds to a response rate of 49 %. The data was analysed with T-tests and multiple regression analysis. It can be concluded that respondents are generally fairly satisfied with their ICT and that the ICT is perceived as necessity for the fulfilment of work tasks as well as a valuable support in various areas of decision making. Moreover, a further developed use of ICT is perceived as an opportunity to increase the company’s competitiveness, but this opinion is negatively correlated with the opinion that the ICT is well adapted to the industry’s conditions. Finally are there some significant differences in perceptions of the outcomes of ICT-usage among professional groups. These differences can be explained by distance to operations and nature of work tasks.

  • 22.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Linderoth, Henrik
    School of engineering, Jönköping university, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Rowlinson, Steve
    Department of Real Estate and Construction, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, HK.
    The role of industry: an analytical framework to understand ICT transformation within the AEC industry2017In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 35, no 10, p. 611-626Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite wide-ranging research on information and communication technologies (ICT) in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, little is known about the role that industry plays in the adoption and use of ICT. Based on observations of how the drivers for ICT use seem to be inconsistent with the industry’s central characteristics, and drawing on information systems (IS) research that demonstrates the role of shared systems of meaning, the purpose here is to develop an analytical framework that explains how industry shapes the adoption and use of ICT. Building on a theoretically driven approach and a case study, a framework is rst sketched and then substantiated through empirical illustrations. Three dimensions of industry are highlighted: the socio-cognitive environment, the market and production environment and institutional actors. It is explained how the interplay of these dimensions shapes the way the industry functions, which in turn in uence the adoption and use of ICT. The outcomes of the interplay can either be aligned or misaligned with ICT, which explains why certain aligned applications are rapidly adopted, whereas other applications are not. The primary implication is that the framework can aid in analysing the need for structural adaptation when trying to achieve ICT-induced change. 

  • 23.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Lundin, Rolf A.
    Jönköping International Business School.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mid Sweden University.
    Researching Projects and Theorizing Families of Temporary Organizations2015In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 46, no 5, p. 9-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Following the contemporary development where most temporary, focused, and organized endeavors can be regarded as a project and studied as a temporary organization, we here ask how these concepts can be defined without hindering pluralism in understanding, development, and theorizing? Based on the notions of family resemblance – the idea that it is not a specific trait, but a variety of traits that are shared by some, but not all, members of a family – we propose a new dynamic framework that we believe is useful in order to advance studies of projects and temporary organizations towards more opportunities for rigorous theorizing.

  • 24.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Lundin, Rolf A
    Jönköping International Business School.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mid Sweden University.
    The Scandinavian Turn of Project Research: Reflections on History and Future Directions2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In retrospect it appears that there was a turn in project research during the late 1980’s and beginning of the 1990’s. The subsequent movement—centered on applying organization theory approaches to projects—is now coming of age. In this paper we focus on the ‘coming of age’ notion by describing trajectories for the ‘Scandinavian School of Project Management’—where it comes from, how it has developed over time, and ultimately reflecting on the question if the movement still exists. In doing so, we juxtapose the emergent ideas with a more structured research programme that came out of the UK around 2006. The main questions addressed concern a) on what these two streams of research have been founded, b) how they have evolved, and c) their influence. Our purpose is to describe and analyze important parts of the contemporary development of project research and to outline potential and plausible directions for the future. The results, which are partly based on a survey distributed to 27 active and well-renowned project researchers around the world, shows that there are signs that the once novel notion of the Scandinavian school has now developed to become normal science in the Kuhn (1970) sense of the expression. Taking on a Kuhnian perspective of the development we sketch two different but parallel types of directions for the future. The first type is to be described as ‘research as usual’, consisting of refinements in line with previous studies along the lines of current practices. The second type is based on how scientific revolutions, potentially also triggered by developments in other scientific areas, might develop to foster new and future directions—a development here tentatively called, a ‘Neo-Scandinavian School of Project Research’.

  • 25.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Lundin, Rolf A.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Towards a multi-perspective research program on projects and temporary organizations Analyzing the Scandinavian turn and the rethinking effort2016In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 752-766Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze important parts of the contemporary development of project research and to outline plausible and desirable directions for the future. Design/methodology/approach - This is accomplished through a review of the "Scandinavian School of Project Management" and "Rethinking Project Management," which is complemented with a set of questions distributed to 27 active researchers within the project research field from around the world. Findings - Through the analysis the authors show how the two streams have more similarities than differences, despite the fact that they have been initiated in very different contexty 8ts and ways. The authors could also conclude that the "Scandinavian School" appears stronger on the international scene than in the Nordic countries, and that general perception of what the "school" stands for has changed and been blurred with time. Based on the analysis the authors also proposed the need for a broad, more coherent research effort in terms of a multi-perspective research program on projects and temporary organizations. The essence of this would be: an action research profile to improve practice and foresee the future; a combined research focus on institutional change and project practice to ensure both theoretical and empirical progress; and a strong global perspective to further enrich both theory and practice. Research limitations/implications - This research has obvious limitations in terms of empirical scope and response selection. The questionnaire results should therefore be interpreted with care. Originality/value - The value of this research lies in its reflective nature and the proposed trajectory of the project research domain.

  • 26.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Lundin, Rolf
    Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden.
    Researching and Theorizing the Temporary Organization and Project Families2013In: Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference (NFF), Reykjavik, Island, August 21-23, 2013. Track 11., 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The “what is a project” question is probably one of the most repeated sentences in research related to projects and temporary organizations. The question is natural because if you are going to make assertions or grounded statements about any phenomenon, you need to be clear on what it is to make sense. Since the question has been repeated in several contexts the answers are also fairly disparate, at least if you believe in research as putting the phenomena and research results under scrutiny. Similarly, temporary organization concepts are unclear, both depending on context and on what characteristics are being studied. At that, for some researchers, the denomination temporary organization is thought of as a theoretical construct whereas projects refer to the empirical phenomena. Attempts to define have also been numerous in the past but the success in doing so has however been limited. As we want to promote pluralism and diversity we pose the question of how these concepts can be defined without hindering pluralism in understanding, development, and theorizing? In this paper, notions of family resemblance in a Wittgenstein meaning – the idea that it is not a specific trait, but a variety of traits that are shared by some, but not all, members of a family – are used in this effort to contribute to forwarding the research area towards more opportunities for theorizing.

  • 27.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Lundin, Rolf
    Jönköping International Business School.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mid Sweden University.
    Researching Projects and Theorizing Families of Temporary Organizations2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    “What is a project?”, is probably one of the most repeated questions in research related to projects and temporary organizations. The question is natural because if you are going to make assertions or grounded statements about any phenomenon, you need to be clear on what it is to make sense. Since the question has been repeated in several contexts the answers are also fairly disparate, at least if you believe in research as putting the phenomena and research results under scrutiny. At that, the temporary organization concept is unclear, both depending on context and on what characteristics are being studied. For some but not all researchers, the denomination temporary organization is thought of as a theoretical construct whereas projects refer to empirical phenomena. Attempts to define the two concepts have also been numerous in the past, but the success in doing so has however been limited. As we want to promote pluralism and diversity we pose the question of how these concepts can be defined without hindering pluralism in understanding, development, and theorizing. In this paper, notions of family resemblance in a Wittgenstein meaning – the idea that it is not a specific trait, but a variety of traits that are shared by some, but not all, members of a family – are used in an effort to contribute to forwarding the research area towards more opportunities for more rigorous theorizing. 

  • 28.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Merschbrock, Christoph
    School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    BIM coordinators: a review2018In: Engineering Construction and Architectural Management, ISSN 0969-9988, E-ISSN 1365-232X, Vol. 25, no 8, p. 989-1008Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the role, practices and responsibilities of building information modeling (BIM) coordinators (BCs).

    Design/methodology/approach: The aim is achieved through a review of existing publications (n = 183) in which the term “BIM coordinators” has been described and discussed (n = 78), complemented by interviews with four Norwegian BIM experts.

    Findings: The findings from the review indicate that the core responsibilities of BCs involve clash detection, managing information flows and communication flows, monitoring and coordinating design changes, supporting new working procedures and technical development and acting as a boundary spanner. The complementary interview study extends these findings with two additional practices and a reflection on the experienced challenges, obstacles and potential future development of the role. In essence, the authors propose that the role of BCs can be defined as being responsible for external/internal alignment and coordination of actor needs, and engaged in product-, process- and system-oriented practices of BIM.

    Research limitations/implications: Given that this study is primarily an integrative literature review of BCs, it has the limitations common with such an approach. Therefore, future studies should preferably extend presented findings through either a survey, further in-depth interviews with BCs or reviews of closely related BIM specialist roles such as BIM managers or BIM technicians.

    Practical implications: With BCs seemingly being central to information management and knowledge domain integration within the architecture, engineering and construction industry, an understanding of their importance and role should be of interest to anyone seeking to tap into the potential of BIM. This paper outlines specific implications for construction manager, educators and BCs.

    Originality/value: The value of this study lies primarily in the fact that it is the first thorough investigation of the role, practices and responsibilities of BCs.

  • 29.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Roth, Philip
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Towards a ‘service turn’ in new cooperative projects?2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    During the last decade there has been an increased interest in various forms of cooperative project client-supplier relationships, where the relationship between involved parties is defined by trust rather than control. In this paper it is argued that this development – the movement away from a focus on control as the main governing mechanism, towards trust – triggers a deeply rooted change in the underlying business logic. A change rarely addressed or analyzed in contemporary research. To put it bluntly, it is suggested that partnering projects, as the unit of analysis in this paper, are becoming service oriented engagement platforms. By drawing on an established framework within the area of service-dominant logic, the aim of this paper is to analyze the relational aspects and illustrate how a partnering project can be understood as an engagement platform. The paper builds on empirical illustrations from a Swedish partnering project and highlights a potential way forward to further understand the role of cooperative project client-supplier relationships.

  • 30.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Roth, Philip
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Towards a shift in mindset: partnering projects as engagement platforms2014In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 32, no 5, p. 419-432Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The last decade has seen shifts in both practice and research regarding client–supplier relationships. Cooperative project client–supplier relationships have become increasingly common, and have spurred a stream of vivid research on for example alliances and partnering. Despite increased attention, an insufficient understanding of the relationship dimension is identified, described as a ‘black box’. Here it is suggested that a key to unlock this ‘black box’ is to focus on the everyday practice and the role of the mindset of involved actors throughout the project. We argue that running partnering projects involves more deeply rooted changes than previously recognized. Changes relate to the mindset among involved actors, where service (instead of merely products or production) becomes the core denominator. First we aim to illustrate that a partnering project, if well functioning, can be understood as an engagement platform, and second we aim to discuss the consequences if this is acknowledged in practice. The case, a successful Swedish partnering project, is explored from a service-dominant logic perspective and it is suggested that successful partnering projects are to be defined as engagement platforms. A refined categorization of the components of partnering is provided and the implications of a shift in mindset discussed.

  • 31.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet.
    Breaking out of the straitjacket of project research: in search of contribution2011In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 378-388Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a different and partly new strategy is needed in order to make research on projects relevant and interesting to a wider scientific community, including organisation and management theory.

    Design/methodology/approach – The aim is accomplished through a mystery-focused process that identifies what is not explained and continuously confronts empirical data with theoretical explanations in an interactive manner.

    Findings – Based on a phenomenology-stimulated meta-analysis of the field of project research, the paper outlines an alternative view of the field of project research and four streams of research, each of which is represented by its own scope, focus, audience and “taken-for-granted” assumptions. The streams are: in search of best practice, in search of legitimacy, in search of inspiration and in search of contribution.

    Research limitations/implications – The paper suggests that, in order to make an true impact on management and social science theories in general, projects must be redefined as objects of study rather than the raison d'être. The inherent paradox, and the conclusion of the paper is that, in order to become more relevant for a broader research community, projects must be reduced to an empirical illustration, a case among others.

    Originality/value – The paper provides a meta-analysis of the project management research field and offers new insights into challenges that need to be addressed in order to make project management research relevant for a wider management research community.

  • 32.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Walker, Derek HT.
    Alliancing within a Public–Private Partnership2013In: Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference (NFF), Reykjavik, Island, August 21-23, 2013. Track 11., 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Relationship-focused procurement forms have lately attracted extensive attention. Here, a first of its kind attempt of Alliancing within a Public–Private Partnership (PPP) is examined through a case study of the largest Australian infrastructure project ever. The project was set up as a PPP between a consortium and the state government where the project is situated. The consortium, that consisted of two of Australia’s largest construction companies, and a major project financing company, was to finance, design and construct, operate, and maintain the Oz1Airportlink until 2053. In the design-construct phase, part of the undertaking was however set up as a project alliance (PA). Through the case study it is revealed that this allowed the contractor joint venture, and a major specialist subcontractor (SERV1), to form an alliance that allowed more flexibility in the work allocation and risk/uncertainty management. It can also be concluded that the choice was base on the need for close collaboration, team integration, knowledge, and perspective sharing. The major driver was complexity on both a technical and relational level. The paper makes three contributions. Primarily, it contributes with a, first ever, analysis of a project alliance within a PPP. Secondly, it provides with important insights into the reasons and emergence of the mentioned configuration – knowledge that should be of interest for both practitioners and academics. Finally, it provides an understanding of an emergent form of early contractor involvement with a PPP special purpose ownership vehicle that combines competition and collaboration for the PPP end-owner.

  • 33.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Construction of the Empire State Building: have we forgotten something?2015In: NFF Conference Proceedings, 2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What’s past is prologue.  Or is it? 40% under budget and 25% faster than anticipated! The construction of the Empire State Building (ESB) was not only the fastest erection of a really tall building ever, but the construction company that took on the job allegedly began with nothing on hand as they had no equipment or supplies that would be adequate for the job. The project was also completed ahead of schedule and under budget. Instead of taking 18 months as initially anticipated, it only took 1 year and 45 days. With the iconic building completed, the construction costs totaled $24.7 million instead of the estimated $43 million. So, we ask how this was possible and is there something we could learn from this? Based on a review of existing literature describing the history of the ESB, we aim at outlining strategic, operational and contextual based explanations to what appears to be a great success from a project management perspective. In the paper we illustrate how, for example, inspiration from Henry Ford’s assembly line technique, the uniqueness of the logistics during the construction period, the economic decline of the Depression, and early ideas of concurrent engineering and fast-track construction, enabled the successful accomplishment. Utilization of private capital compared to public funds may also have been a factor. Our conclusion is that there are lessons to be learned in going back to basics. Nevertheless, somewhere along the line progress in management seems to have deviated from learning from history.  Consequently, the development of expectations of construction projects coming in late and over budget is traced through the metrics associated with major installations. 

  • 34.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Partnering hierarchy of needs2014In: Management Decision, ISSN 0025-1747, E-ISSN 1758-6070, Vol. 52, no 10, p. 1907-1927Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – First, the purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze the role of the components in the creation of a partnering way of working; second, to illustrate how the achievement of such collaborative state is dependent on a hierarchy of constructs. Design/methodology/approach – The paper builds on a large case study of a successful Swedish partnering project. The case, studied through extensive interviews and observations, was process-oriented and analyzed using a theoretically driven thematic analysis.

    Findings – It is shown that components exist on different levels and constitute different types of building blocks in striving toward a “true” collaborative climate. It is also shown that as the project progressed, even the non-partnering sub-projects were infused with a collaborative way of working. To this end it is suggested that there might be a certain stickiness related to this way of working. As trust, openness, and mutual understanding are constructs on an interpersonal level, it is on the interpersonal level partnering endeavors are won or lost.

    Research limitations/implications – The paper provides a new conceptualization of the partnering components and also an understanding of how the components contribute to the creation of a collaborative climate. Because the research was built on a case study, one has the limitations common with that approach.

    Practical implications – The importance of understanding that individual expectations are the basis for the action and learning that interact in a constant feedback loop, as the partnering pyramid is climbed. Originality/value – This understanding should be of interest for both practitioners and academics working with partnering. 

  • 35.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    The construction company as a service firm2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Mintzberg, in reflecting on management, suggests that we should be looking for new ways to look at things. In this regard, the construction industry is unique as it exists midway between manufacturing and service production. In this paper we argue that although the outputs of the industry are physical, operations tend to be service oriented. The three level model of Normann serves as the analytical framework and empirical illustrations come from a Swedish project that appears to mandate understanding at all three levels. At the macro level, a strong service management system was developed in part as an outcome of a partnering agreement; success at the intermediate level came as a result of some steps taken to blend cultures, and interactions at the micro level were implemented from the beginning by developing strong relationships with customers. These findings should have both conceptual interest for academics and practical implications for managers.

  • 36.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The Construction Company Through the Lens of Service Management: Inferences From Sweden2012In: Services Marketing Quarterly, ISSN 1533-2969, E-ISSN 1533-2977, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 155-176Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The construction industry and firms within it are unique insofaras they exist midway between manufacturing and services production.In this article, we suggest that, even if the outputs arephysical, operations tend to be service oriented. Two approachesare taken to clarify the service aspects of a current project inSweden. First, the model of Normann is used to describe the firmand secondly, a blueprint is made to illustrate the fitting withservice theory. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first timethe industry has been analyzed in this manner. Consequently,the findings should have both conceptual and practical relevance.

  • 37.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Tinkerbell and the Empire State Building: Recalling what seems to be forgotten2018In: PM World Journal, ISSN 2330-4480, Vol. VII, no VII, p. 1-4Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    “I do believe in fairies! I do! I do!!” (Peter Pan)

    In the 1905 play “Peter Pan; or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up”, Sir James Matthew Barrie described how Peter Pan, through his strong beliefs, brought the fairy Tinkerbell back to life. In this short essay, we aim to initiate discussions on the role of strong beliefs and the so-called “Tinkerbell effect” in upholding taken-for-granted assumptions within the construction industry.

    As the basis for the discussion, the essay reports on a recently published journal article in Business Horizons entitled “Revisiting the construction of the Empire State Building: Have we forgotten something?” (Jacobsson and Wilson, 2018). Presently the article is also sold as a case study and teaching case by Harvard Business Review. (The case study can be accessed at https://tinyurl.com/HBRcasestudy and the teaching case at https://tinyurl.com/HBPEcase)

  • 38.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE). School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
    Wilson, Timothy L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Revisiting the construction of the Empire State Building: have we forgotten something?2018In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 61, no 1, p. 47-57Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What's past is prologue. Or is it? The construction of the Empire State Building (ESB) was not only the fastest erection of a skyscraper ever, but the construction company that took on the job allegedly began with no equipment or supplies that would be adequate for the job. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget; instead of 1 year and 6 months as anticipated, it only took 1 year and 45 days. The costs totaled $24.7 million instead of the estimated $43 million. So, we ask, how was this possible and is there something we could learn? Based on a review of existing literature describing the history and construction of the ESB, we outline strategic, operational, and contextual explanations for what appears to be a truly successful megaproject. We illustrate how, for example, inspiration from Henry Ford's assembly line technique, the uniqueness of the logistics during the construction period, the economic decline of the Depression, and early ideas of concurrent engineering and fast-track construction enabled the success. Our conclusion is that there are lessons to be learned in going back to basics when tackling a megaproject.

  • 39.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The stickiness of partnering: Towards a layer cake conceptualizations2013In: Proceedings of the 22nd Nordic Academy of Management Conference (NFF), Reykjavik, Island, August 21-23, 2013. Track 11., 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    To mitigate adversarial behavior in the construction industry, partnering was introduced as a way to establishing good working relations through commitment and trust among partners. Previous research has provided a number of components to outline the fluent boundaries of the phenomenon. These components have however been criticized for being a mix between procedures and outcomes. This paper attempts to sort out this confusion by viewing partnering as a way of working. The aim of the paper is twofold; first, to describe and analyze the role of the components in the creation of a partnering way of working; secondly, to illustrate how the achievement of such collaborative state is dependent on a hierarchy of constructs. Through the review, and based on a case study, it is shown that components exist on different levels and constitute different types of building blocks in achieving a ‘true’ collaborative climate. It is also shown that as the project progressed, even the non- partnering sub-projects were infused with a collaborative way of working. Once the collaborative state was achieved – what we call “the top of the layer cake” – it did not just disappear. To this end we suggest that there might be a certain stickiness related to this way of working. As trust, openness, and mutual understanding are constructs on an interpersonal level, it is on the interpersonal level partnering endeavors are won or lost. The paper makes two main contributions; it 1) provides a new conceptualization of the partnering components; and 2) produces an understanding of how the components aid to a collaborative climate.

  • 40.
    Jansson, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Balancing Sustainability Challenges: A Case Study of Establishing Textile Production in the Developing World2012In: In Proceedings of the 18th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference (AISDRC), June 24-26, Hull, UK., 2012Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 41.
    Jansson, Johan
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Mattias, Jacobsson
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Forsberg, Jonas
    RedQ.
    Sandlund, Anders
    RedQ.
    Social and environmental value-based cluster development: the dilemma of wishing to do good by selling textile goods2012In: Marketing management in geographically remote industrial clusters: implications for business-to-consumer marketing / [ed] George Tesar & Jan Bodin, Singapore: World Scientific, 2012, p. 167-195Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 42.
    Lindbergh, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Olofsson, Thomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Public Housing in Sweden: The Umeå Two-Step2017In: NFF Proceedings: Bodö, 23-25 August 2017, 2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Comparative housing analyses often find that Swedish public housing represents an interesting story because it provides a good class of rental housing to all sections of the population. This approach has been called the “Swedish public housing model”. An in-depth case study has been used to develop a system-wide understanding of a participant’s involvement in its housing market. In this case study, the public utility/energy and water-sewage/solid waste companies played a significant role in the company’s ability to serve the local community. It thus behooves us to compare and connect the different components in the public housing company business model to complete the analysis of success in the value chain. Two-levels describe the situation. At the first level, the municipal public housing (MPH) organization is seen as functioning as a tenant-oriented, quasi-municipal utility within a value network composed of the municipality + the energy utility + the water-sewage/solid waste company. At the second level, a Shaffer analysis shows general harmony among the operations of each organization.  In particular, the MPH provides value-for-money rentals within the municipality and helps tenants turn their flats into homes. Additionally, continued appreciation of its base assets and apparent economies of scale were instrumental in the success of the operations at the tactical level. Insofar as the Swedish public housing model is undergoing a shift to be more “business-like”, this study indicates how the model successfully works at the individual company level. Because there are certain commonalities with other organizations in public management, observations may be relevant in their successful operations.

  • 43.
    Lindbergh, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    A fourth look at public housing in Sweden: The business model2016In: Proceedings of the Pennsylvania Economic Association Conference / [ed] Jui-Chi Huang, 2016, p. 136-147Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Comparative housing analyses often find that the Swedish public housing model represents a success story. That is, a good class of housing is offered at a reasonable cost to all sections of the population – irre­spective of income, ethnicity, age or type of household. This approach has been called the “Swedish public housing model” and the purpose of this paper is to describe and reflect upon its operation. The company utilized in this study as a research case, AB Bostaden, builds and manages housing in the Umeå municipality. With 15,400 apartments, it is the biggest actor in the Umeå housing rental market, with a market share of approximately 45 percent, and controls 27 percent of the Umeå housing market overall.  The background section of the paper provides consideration of both the Swedish system of rental housing as well as aspects of business models. A typological-taxonomic approach to understanding business models is used to deconstruct Bostaden’s approach to its housing market. The business model that results through this approach indicates that the organization functions as a tenant-oriented, municipal utility with core values of human equality, transparency, care and a businesslike approach that captures a high return on rental revenue (~ 19.3% PBT) and a modest return on assets (7.9% ROA, including depreciation) within a value network of the kommun + the energy utility + the university by providing value-for-money rentals within the municipality and by helping tenants to turn their flats into homes and neighborhoods. Continued appreciation of its base assets and apparent economies of scale were instrumental in the success of the operations at the tactical level. 

  • 44.
    Lindbergh, Lars
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy L.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Swedish sustainability through a Zhang and London lens2016In: Competitiveness Review: an international business journal, ISSN 1059-5422, E-ISSN 2051-3143, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 370-394Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To describe how sustainable development has been initiated in a country (Sweden) in which sustainable development has priority and has produced observable results – essentially the definition and reshaping of contents (p. 107) referred to in the ZL paper therefore adding some validity to the model.

    Method: The research is both exploratory and qualitative in nature and utilizes an in-depth case study approach to the Swedish international economy as might be reflected by Zhang and London’s modified Porter model.  Information drawn from current secondary sources is complemented by personal contemporaneous observations of individuals in the country of interest.   

    Findings: The task of implementing Sweden’s strategy for sustainable development is holistic and the State has played a major role in its development.  That is, sustainability is the responsibility of the Government Offices as a whole, which produces proactive programs in each of the interactions analyzed in the Zhang and London modified model.  As an aside, the country has sustained a high level of competitiveness while producing a pleasant environment in which to live.

    Practical implications: Insofar as Sweden might be a model for other countries interested in extending their efforts in sustainable development, observations here provide some insights into possible approaches and results.

    Originality/value: The approach basically followed Siggelkow’s (2007) definition of the use of cases as illustrations, which is useful when the underlying development depends upon constructs.  It follows that the association of real-world observations with theory well serves the underlying foundation and cannot help but build credibility of those concepts and theory.

  • 45.
    Linderoth, Henrik
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Understanding adoption and use of ICT in construction projects through the lens of context, actors and technology2008In: Proceeding of CIB W78, Improving the management of construction projects through IT adoption, 2008, p. 203-212Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 46.
    Linderoth, Henrik
    et al.
    Högskolan i Skövde.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Rowlinson, Steve
    The University of Hong Kong.
    Taking industry seriously in ICT research: The case of building and construction industry2011In: ICIS 2011 Proceedings, 2011Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Industry has received little attention in Information systems research as a factor explaining information and communication technology (ICT) related activities in organizations. By drawing on a case study in the building and construction industry in Sweden, the aim of this paper is to contribute to an enhanced knowledge of how industry specific features shape the adoption and use of ICT. It is concluded that the adoption and deployment of ICT is shaped by the interplay among three main dimensions of the industry. These dimensions are the market and production environment (shaped by specific interaction patterns among its features), the socio-cognitive environment, and institutional actors. The outcomes of this interplay will “fit” material features of ICT, implying certain ICT applications are preferred in a specific industry. However, the interaction patterns among which features to be included in the framework will vary among industries. The suggested framework can be used as a point of departure when ICTrelated activities in an industry are analysed.

  • 47.
    Näsholm, Malin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Do Global Careers Imply Construction of Global Identities?2010Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Globalization is everywhere, new technological and organizational innovations havecompressed time and space. National as well as organizational borders have become permeable in favor of regions and networks. A broad spectrum of interlinked global forces has created a dynamic and fluid present that, in many ways, have changed the contemporary organizational prerequisites. The transformation of the organizational conditions have also changed the previous understanding of careers and facilitated new types of relationships between employer and employee that are more transactional and global. However, the current knowledge regarding these kinds of relationships and the individual workers perception of his/hers personal development and career in relation tothe global context, is limited. To address this issue this paper focuses on international itinerants, i.e. professionals with global careers who have been employed by at least two independent companies in foreign countries and thus arguably at the core of this fluid global context. The aim of this paper is to explore the identity construction process of international itinerants and what they identify with in the global context of their careers. In order to do this, an identity construction perspective will be applied, including social aspects of what these individuals identify with. Through a structural narrative analysis, presented as aggregated narratives of interviews, this paper shows the process of how three Swedish international itinerants construct their identity. To explore if a globalidentity is constructed, and what that might entail, three dimensions of what the itinerants identify with are in focus; the organization and career, the communities and networks, and the country and culture.

  • 48.
    Rosales, Virginia
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Turf Wars: Understanding Intraorganizational Coopetition in the Emergency Department2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on coopetition has largely been based on collaborative relationships between competitors. Building on this body of knowledge and addressing recent calls for research on intra-organizational and emergent coopetition, the purpose of this paper is to further our understanding in regard to these issues. The study is based on an in-depth qualitative study at the Emergency Department of Umeå University Hospital and consists of more than 80 hours of participant observation and interviews. The paper analyses the collaborative and competitive practices that exist among medical doctors and nurses, and discusses what seems to be triggering intra-organizational coopetition and its consequences. The analysis illustrates that coopetition emerges among individuals and groups not necessarily as the result of the implementation of an intended strategy. On the contrary, triggers of emergent intra- organizational coopetition include the organizational structure, diversity of professions, division of work activities, availability of resources, uncertainty and workload levels. All this makes a distinct contribution to the understanding of intra-organizational coopetition as an emergent practice, knowledge that should be of use from both a theoretical and a practical point of view. 

  • 49.
    Walker, Derek H.T.
    et al.
    School of Property Const & Project Mgt, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia).
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    A rationale for alliancing within a public-private partnership2014In: Engineering Construction and Architectural Management, ISSN 0969-9988, E-ISSN 1365-232X, Vol. 21, no 6, p. 648-673Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – This case study was chosen for its rare, if not unique, project procurement strategy. It is, to the authors’ knowledge, the only example of a project alliance (PA) being undertaken within a public-private partnership (PPP) project delivery approach. The purpose of this paper is to explore the case study from a strategic perspective to better understand if it is possible to combine a PA within a less collaborative procurement form, such as PPP or design and construct (D&C), and to determine if there were any specific prerequisite conditions needed for such an arrangement to be successfully adopted. 

    Design/methodology/approach – A single exploratory case study was undertaken through interviewing seven of the most senior project participant executives for approximately an hour that each had a separate and unique perspective to offer relating to the organisational role they represented in the PA. These interviewees were identified as the most knowledgeable key executives participating in the PA from whom both strategic and operational insights could be gained.

    Findings – It is possible to design a PA approach within a PPP for large and complex infrastructure projects and this can provide a competitive advantage to do so, however, the reasons for doing so should be clear and compelling. Parties to such an arrangement should be prepared to fully engage through adopting full PA principles. In such a case as this, the PPP special purpose vehicle takes on the role of “project owner” that normally the public body part of the PPP would normally adopt. 

    Research limitations/implications – This research reports upon a single case study within a specific project delivery culture that has extensive experience of PAs. Demonstrated positive project outcomes would not be likely to be more generally repeatable across the engineering infrastructure sector unless parties engaged within such a PA had not already experienced and understood outcomes resulting from such a close collaboration. 

    Practical implications – This research has implications for project participants bidding for PPP projects as well as others using a D&C tending approach. It offers a potential competitive advantage because it demonstrates and explains how choices may be expanded beyond a simple single project procurement strategy approach. 

    Social implications – Many PPP and PA infrastructure projects are delivered to provide community benefit. This paper provides a way to improve the project delivery process and thus improving value to the community. 

    Originality/value – The paper makes three contributions. Primarily, it pioneers analysis of a PA within a PPP. Second, it provides important insights into the reasons and emergence of this phenomenon. Finally, it provides an understanding of this how this novel form of early contractor involvement with a PPP special purpose ownership vehicle that combines competition and collaboration may function operationally.

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