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Connecting project portfolios with their context

Research output: Other conference contributionPaper, poster or abstractScientific


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2019
Publication typeNot Eligible
EventEuropean Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium 2019: Enlightening the Future: The Challenge for Organizations - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Jul 20196 Jul 2019
Conference number: 35


ConferenceEuropean Group for Organizational Studies Colloquium 2019
Abbreviated titleEGOS 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Organisations create and manage project portfolios to implement and renew their strategies. With the dominant contingency theory view, studies have primarily focused on intra-organisational issues whilst acknowledging that different practices are needed in different environments. A strategic view of managing project portfolios, however, requires adopting a stronger external orientation. We call for research on the management of project portfolios. We investigate the relationship between project portfolios and their context, based on four theoretical alternatives: institutional theory, stakeholder theory, resource dependence theory, and sensemaking theory. The results offer explanations to the mechanisms connecting project portfolios with their context, hence calling for a reformulation of portfolio success and a new research agenda for portfolios’ external connections. We also indicate a potential cross-fertilisation of the theoretical angles, with implications for the enactment of strategy, criteria of success, complex stakeholder relations, and ways of managing a project portfolio.