A new governance approach for multi-firm projects: Lessons from Olkiluoto 3 and Flamanville 3 nuclear power plant projects
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › Scientific › peer-review
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||International Journal of Project Management|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2011|
|Publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
We analyze governance in two contemporary nuclear power plant projects: Olkiluoto 3 (Finland) and Flamanville 3 (France). We suggest that in the governance of large multi-firm projects, any of the prevalent governance approaches that rely on market, hierarchy, or hybrid forms, is not adequate as such. This paper opens up avenues towards a novel theory of governance in large projects by adopting a project network view with multiple networked firms within a single project, and by simultaneously going beyond organizational forms that cut across the traditional firm-market dichotomy. Our analysis suggests four changes in the prevailing perspective towards the governance of large projects. First, there should be a shift from viewing multi-firm projects as hierarchical contract organizations to viewing them as supply networks characterized by a complex and networked organizational structure. Second, there should be a shift in the emphasis of the predominant modes of governance, market and hierarchy towards novel governance approaches that emphasize network-level mechanisms such as self-regulation within the project. Third, there should be a shift from viewing projects as temporary endeavors to viewing projects as short-term events or episodes embedded in the long-term sphere of shared history and expected future activities among the involved actors. Fourth, there should be a shift from the prevailing narrow view of a hierarchical project management system towards an open system view of managing in complex and challenging institutional environments.