Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Surviving project discontinuities: Relationship quality and extrabusiness relationship maintenance practices in project relationships

Research output: Other conference contributionPaper, poster or abstractScientific


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
EventIRNOP International Research Network on Organizing by Projects Conference 2017 - Boston University, Boston, United States
Duration: 11 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


ConferenceIRNOP International Research Network on Organizing by Projects Conference 2017
Abbreviated titleIRNOP
CountryUnited States
Internet address


Project-based firms repeat projects in similar kinds of project networks and may often benefit from maintaining long-term relationships with their suppliers. Maintenance of extrabusiness relationships is needed during project discontinuity in order to ensure that relationships do not decay or dissolve. This paper explores relationship quality between a project-based firm and its suppliers, and mechanisms to maintain extrabusiness relationships during project discontinuity. We collected interview data in one business network with long-term and recurrent project collaboration in a situation in which the actors were not engaged in a joint project together. We explored the experienced relationship quality at the early phase of discontinuity and identified extrabusiness relationship maintenance mechanisms used during project implementation. Specific extrabusiness maintenance activities were not found during the discontinuity but, instead, certain relational and business-related activities during project implementation seem to carry over the project discontinuity as well. The results show evidence that strong relationships characterized by technical congruence, reciprocal dependence, complementing technological commitment and developed during a long-term, recurrent and demanding project execution, do not require active maintenance during periods of project discontinuity.