Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Managing Value Creation in Temporary Organizations

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles

Details

Original languageEnglish
PublisherTampere University
Number of pages86
Volume155
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-03-1308-1
ISBN (Print)978-952-03-1307-4
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2019
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University Dissertations
Volume155
ISSN (Print)2489-9860
ISSN (Electronic)2490-0028

Abstract

In recent decades, projects and project-based organizing have spread to all kinds of organizations. Consequently, the research field of project management has progressed and evolved as well. Earlier research conceptualized projects as tools or production functions that seek to fulfill predefined, specific objectives. This research builds on two recent developments that challenge this rationalistic viewpoint: the viewpoints of temporary organizing and value creation. Temporary organizations are sets of organizational actors working together on a
complex task over a limited period of time. Conceptualizing projects as temporary organizations, the viewpoint of temporary organizing emphasizes the social, behavioral, and organizational aspects of project management. The perspective of value creation builds on the nature of project goals and project success. This viewpoint describes how benefits and costs (i.e., value) occur throughout the project lifecycle — from the early front-end phase to the operations phase — and how the evaluation of project success should not be limited to project completion. Despite the growing interest in value creation, there is a lack of understanding of management strategies for value creation. In comparison to the predefined objectives of the rationalistic viewpoint, value is subjective, multidimensional, and uncertain. That is why this dissertation raises the following question: how is value creation managed in temporary organizations? This study examines three ways of managing value creation: through organizational control, the management of organizational interdependencies (coordination and integration), and by considering
the stakeholder viewpoint. In addition to this introduction, this article-based dissertation is comprised of five journal articles. A sequential research design taking qualitative research approaches was followed. Depending on the study, the primary research data were interviews or newspaper articles. This dissertation studied four types of temporary organizations:
infrastructure projects, maintenance projects, organizational change programs, and system delivery projects. The findings of this dissertation illustrate organizational control targeting value-oriented goals, coordination and integration as ways of managing value creation at organizational interfaces and show that stakeholders’ perceptions of value drive their efforts to influence temporary organizations. To encourage desirable actions, internal and external actors design different control packages for different dimensions of value. In a similar vein, external stakeholders use different influence strategies to exert influence on temporary organizations. Influence efforts taken by the stakeholders are driven by their perceptions of value. Due to the division of work
and the embeddedness of the temporary organization in external contexts, there are interdependencies within and around temporary organizations. Coordination and integration are the procedures used for managing organizational interdependencies, and by managing those interdependencies, value creation is promoted. This research makes three contributions to the earlier literature. First, it proposes that value-oriented goals are a source of task complexity in temporary organizations. Value orientation consists of three characteristics of value: lifecycle orientation, subjectivity, and multidimensionality. This way, value orientation provides a new viewpoint on the nature of the tasks performed by temporary organizations. Second, acknowledging value orientation as a source of task complexity, this dissertation proposes a framework for managing value creation in temporary organizations. The three elements of the framework — organizational control, management of organizational interdependencies, and the stakeholder viewpoint — are not interchangeable, but they complement each other by focusing on different aspects of value creation. Finally, this research demonstrates the multi-level nature of value creation. Value creation takes place and has to be managed at three different organizational levels: within the temporary organization, between the temporary and the permanent organization, and between the temporary organization and the external environment.