Coping by lack of authority
At the next 08:23 we will have a paper that questions the general assumption regarding the necessity and benefits of strong project governance structures. The manuscript, which is about to be submitted, is written by Markus Hällgren and Marcus Lindahl. The former Markus, I assume you know fairly well, and the latter Markus (who you might be familiar with) is Professor and Head of division at the Division of Industrial Engineering and Management, Uppsala University. Apart from his interest in projects, Professor Lindahl’s research effort concerns organizational improvisation and dynamics of management such as honor, professional culture, and praxis.
Please note that the manuscript is NOT FOR CIRCULATION.
In this article we examine how interlinked development projects are managed in a setting with a weak governance structure. The paper questions the general assumption regarding the necessity and benefits of strong project governance structures. The findings are based on a single case study of a product development project consisting of two interlinked projects in a large multinational company. The paper identifies two distinct procedures used to cope with and manage weak project governance structures. The first procedure is labelled “a horizontal process of operational consensus-seeking” where conflicts between projects are negotiated and resolved through the communication between independent actors who are at the same hierarchical level within the same organization such as two project managers. The second process is labelled “a vertical process of strategic escalation” where issues that have failed to be resolved are shifted upwards to a new hierarchical level where a new round of operational consensus-seeking is attempted.
The full paper will be distributed via email.