Project Management

Maximizing Organizational Resilience Under Institutional Complexity in Interorganizational Projects

Large-scale projects are experiencing unprecedented risks and uncertainties around the world, due to internal dynamics, such as incomplete contracts, varied governance structures, long-term contractual periods, as well as external adversities, namely political, economic, legal, social, and project-specific factors. These large-scale projects, typically involving multiple stakeholders in a specific government structure, such as public-private partnerships (PPPs), are inherently inter-organizational projects (IOPs) and are not immune to these overwhelming risks and uncertainties. The involvement of multiple stakeholders raises the issue of heterogeneity of project participants. That is, the risks and uncertainties for projects are interwoven with varied institutional logics carried by various project stakeholders. Large-scale projects face institutional complexity when they confront incompatible prescriptions from multiple institutional logics. Hence, we argue that the design of governance systems of collaborative relationships should aim for resolving institutional complexity, which further improves organizational resilience for IOPs. By adopting a sequential qualitative-quantitative approach, we conduct research based on empirical evidence to address the issue of resilience of IOPs under institutional complexities. Consequently, this research broadens the perspectives of earlier studies by proposing a shift from focusing on operational conflicts to institutional conflicts and has identified a dynamic stakeholder engagement strategy toward improved resilience. This novel perspective is better aligned with practical reality and provides a comprehensive theoretical framework of governance for improved resilience in the face of institutional complexity.


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