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Governing Project-based Firms: Promoting Market-like Processes within Hierarchies

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  • Lars Lindkvist

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Abstract

This article takes an empirical point of departure in an in-depth study of an R&D organization that was transformed into a strongly project-based organization. As demonstrated in the analysis, its mode of governance differed radically from traditional bureaucratic and cultural conceptions of governance. Instead the new “rules-of-the-game” introduced amounted to creating an institutional framework, promoting new individual responsibilities and enabling lower level market-like processes of self-organizing discovery. The specific set-up used, included anew organization structure, new responsibilities, etc and the use of “prices”, playing a role both in shaping incentives and guiding knowledge work. The interpretation put forward relies on combining economic theories of governance with more “fine-grained” organization theories, and suggests that there is some discretion for top managers to engage in the design of a market-promoting mode of governance for their project-based firms. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Lars Lindkvist, 2004. "Governing Project-based Firms: Promoting Market-like Processes within Hierarchies," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 8(1), pages 3-25, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jmgtgv:v:8:y:2004:i:1:p:3-25
    DOI: 10.1023/B:MAGO.0000015392.75507.ad
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/B:MAGO.0000015392.75507.ad
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Prencipe, Andrea & Tell, Fredrik, 2001. "Inter-project learning: processes and outcomes of knowledge codification in project-based firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1373-1394, December.
    2. Todd Zenger, 2002. "Crafting Internal Hybrids: Complementarities, Common Change Initiatives, and the Team-Based Organization," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 79-95.
    3. Anna Grandori, 2001. "Neither Hierarchy nor Identity: Knowledge-Governance Mechanisms and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 5(3), pages 381-399, September.
    4. Nicolai Foss, 2002. "'Coase vs Hayek': Economic Organization and the Knowledge Economy," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 9-35.
    5. Vaughn, Karen I, 1999. "Hayek's Implicit Economics: Rules and the Problem of Order," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 11(1-2), pages 129-144.
    6. Jason Potts, 2001. "Knowledge and markets," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 413-431.
    7. Nicolai J. Foss, 2001. "Selective Intervention and Internal HybridsInterpreting and Learning from the Rise and Decline of the Oticon Spaghetti Organization," DRUID Working Papers 01-16, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lobo, Sunila & Whyte, Jennifer, 2017. "Aligning and Reconciling: Building project capabilities for digital delivery," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 93-107.
    2. Mitsuru Kodama & Tomoatsu Shibata, 2013. "Research into Ambidextrous R&D in Product Development New Product Development at a Precision Device Maker," TMARG Discussion Papers 109, Graduate School of Economics and Management, Tohoku University.
    3. Craig Boardman & Branco Ponomariov, 2014. "Management knowledge and the organization of team science in university research centers," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 75-92, February.
    4. Karl Breunig & Katja Hydle, 2013. "Remote control: measuring performance for value creation and governance of globally distributed knowledge work," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(3), pages 559-582, August.
    5. Fanny Simon & Albéric Tellier, 2016. "Balancing contradictory temporality during the unfold of innovation streams," Post-Print hal-01572302, HAL.
    6. Claudiu George BOCEAN, 2011. "Project Based Organization - An Integrated Approach," Management and Marketing Journal, University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 0(2), pages 265-273, November.

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