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Agency relationships in global project business

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of EURAM18 European Academy of Management conference 2018
PublisherEuropean Academy of Management, EURAM
Number of pages38
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-9602195-0-0
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEURAM European Academy of Management Conference -
Duration: 19 Jun 201822 Jun 2018

Publication series

NameEURAM conference
ISSN (Print)2466-7498


ConferenceEURAM European Academy of Management Conference


Project-based firms (PBFs) serving global markets rely on local agents throughout the project life-cycle. In particular, agents are frequently used to support the PBFs efforts in project marketing, project implementation, and in provisioning of services to customers operating the delivered solutions. The purpose of this paper is to analyse principal-agent relationships in global project business from an agency perspective in order to provide further clarity to the their salient characteristics, and to identify mechanisms through which agency problems can be mitigated. Based on our analysis of earlier literature, it appears that PBFs’ principal-agent relationships with local actors during project front-end and operations phases are predominantly explorative in their nature whilst relationships during project implementation can be characterized as exploitative. Respectively, relationships of the former kind are governed by complex combinations of contractual and noncontractual mechanisms, while in relationships of the latter kind, rather simple contractual mechanisms are favoured by PBFs. Our findings imply that PBFs need to consider both the project life-cycle phase, as well as the characteristics and goals of individual agents, when designing mechanisms for governing their agency relationships.


  • Global project business, agency theory, local agents, project marketing, project implementation, service provisioning

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland