Managing public-private megaprojects: Paradoxes, complexity, and project design

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Project Management, 2008, 26 (6), pp. 591 - 600
Issue Date:
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Recent studies show that despite their growing popularity, megaprojects - large-scale, complex projects delivered through various partnerships between public and private organisations - often fail to meet costs estimations, time schedules and project outcomes and are motivated by vested interests which operate against the public interest. This paper presents a more benign and theoretically-grounded view on what goes wrong by comparing the project designs, daily practices, project cultures and management approaches of two recent megaprojects in The Netherlands and Australia, showing how these projects made sense of uncertainty, ambiguity and risk. We conclude that project design and project cultures play a role in determining how managers and partners cooperate to achieve project objectives to a greater or lesser extent. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.
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