Governance of interorganizational project networks
Ralf Müller (BI Norwegian Business School)
Dr Yongjian Ke (University of Technology Sydney)
Nathalie Drouin (ESG UQAM & KHEOPS)
Mylène Mongeon (KHEOPS)
Fangwei Zhu (Dalian University of Technology)
Linzhuo Wang (Dalian University of Technology)
Inga Minelgaite (University of Iceland)
Raimonda Alonderienė (ISM University of Management and Economics)
Alfredas Chmieliauskas (ISM University of Management and Economics)
Margarita Pilkiene (ISM University of Management and Economics)
Dr. Saulius Šimkonis (ISM University of Management and Economics)
Anne Live Vaagaasar (BI Norwegian Business School)
Christine Unterhitzenberger (University of Leeds)
This study investigates the governance of inter-organizational networks. The international research teams collected data from the following nine countries: Australia, Canada, China, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Iran, Lithuania, Norway. A total of 124 semi-structured interviews were conducted as part of 28 cases studies worldwide. Then 225 web-based questionnaires were distributed to project managers and managers in network governance roles worldwide.
The analysis of qualitative and quantitative results brings a better understanding of the governance of inter-organizational projects.Three layers of governance have been identified:
- metagouvernance, that manifests itself as (semi)permanent policies and/or guidelines, set by the owner or investor (e.g. government);
Governance of networks addresses the collaboration patterns between the networks created to contribute to the project accomplishment;
Network governance describes the governance of one inter-organizational network.
For practioners, this research provides:
- awareness of the range of options they have to structure their interorganizational networks for repetitive project execution
- awareness of the hierarchy and the dependencies between the layers
understanding of the responsibility of governance of networks to ensure a balance between formal and informal governance structures,
clear definition of roles and responsibilities, accountabilities at all levels;
- coordinate networks by defining “standards”.
- The objectives of the study are to:
Identify the variety of network designs and their governance approaches for long-term inter-organizational networks established for multi-project execution over time.
Identify the situational and contextual contingencies in the design of these networks and their governance approaches, their strengths and weaknesses, as well as related performance implications.
Develop a practitioner-ready framework of practices and theories, together with their contextual contingencies, to better understand, design, adjust, and govern these networks for the benefit of the organizations and their projects.
Publications in referred journals
Müller, R., Alix-Séguin, C., Alonderienė, R., Bourgault, M., Chmieliauskas, A., Drouin, N., Ke, Y., Minelgaite, I., Pilkienė, M., Šimkonis, S., Unterhitzenberger, C., Vaagaasar, A. L., Wang, L. (under review). A (meta)-governance framework for multi-level governance of inter-organizational project networks. Submitted to International Journal of Project Management (under review).
Unterhitzenberger, C., Müller, R., Vaagaasar, A.L., Ke, Y., Alonderienė, R., Minelgaite, I., Pilkiene, M., Wang, L., Drouin, N., Chmieliauskas, A., Šimkonis, S., Mongeon, M. (under review). A governance model for inter-organizational project networks, Submitted to Project Management Journal (under review).
Wang, L., Müller, R. & Zhu, F. (under review) Network Governance for inter-organizational temporary organizations: A systematic literature review and research agenda. Submitted to Journal of Management Studies (under review).
Šimkonis, Š., Müller, R., Alonderienė, R., Chmieliauskas, A., & Pilkienė, M. (2021). Multi-level Governance in Inter-organizational Project Settings. In Proceedings of the British Academy of Management (BAM) Conference in the Cloud, Lancaster University, UK, October 31 to September 2, (pp. 1–20).
Wang, L., Müller, R., Chmieliauskas, A., Alonderienė, R., Drouin, N., Ke, Y., Minelgaite, I., Mongeon, M., Pilkiene, M., Šimkonis, S., Unterhitzenberger, C., Vaagaasar, A.L., Zhu, F. (under review). Balancing hierarchy and network: Governance of inter-organizational networks for projects. Submitted to European Academy of Management Conference, 2022.
Wang, L., Zhang, C., Zhu, F., (2021). Supplier Governance of Inter-organizational projects from the Perspective of Institutional Logic——The evidence from Supplier Management System of China Communications Construction Company. In Proceedings of the Smart City and Intelligent Construction Conference, September 18-19, 2021, Wuhan, China (in Chinese) [Best Conference Paper Award]
Arnardóttir, D. (2021). Governance of long-term inter-organisational networks A comparative case study in the Icelandic construction industry. Master of Science in Project Management thesis, School of Business, University of Iceland.
Gunnlaugsdóttir, H. K. (2021). Effectiveness of inter-organisational network performance in the Icelandic construction industry from the perspective of long-term governance approaches. Master of Science in Project Management thesis, School of Business, University of Iceland.
Arnardóttir, P., Gunnlaugsdóttir, K., & Minelgaite, I. (2020). Network management in the construction industry: A useless resource? Kjarninn (The Core), December 21.
Conferences & presentations
Müller, R., Unterhitzenberger, C., Drouin, N. (2022). Governance of Interorganizational Project Networks, PMI, 28 mars.
Müller, R., Unterhitzenberger, C., Drouin, N. (2022). Governance of Interorganizational Project Networks, PMI, 23 mars.
Ralf Müller: Meta-Governance and Multi-Level Governance in Inter-Organizational Networks for Projects. Keynote World Project Management Forum (WPMF), December 2021.
Ralf Müller: Multi-Level Governance in Inter-Organizational Project Networks. Keynote at Project Governance and Control Symposium (PGCS), Canberra, August 2021.
Ralf Müller: Multi-Level Governance in Inter-Organizational Networks for Projects. Keynote at IPMA Research Conference, June 2021 (online).
Ralf Müller: Meta and Multi-Level Governance in Inter-Organizational Project Networks. Presentation at EDEN Doctoral Workshop, SKEMA Business School France, August 2021.
Ralf Müller: Multi-Level Governance in Inter-Organizational Networks for Projects. Presentation at Project Governance Online Seminar at Dalian University of Technology, China, July 2021.