Business Case Control: The Key to Project Portfolio Success or Merely a Matter of Form?

Publisher:
European Academy of Management
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Citation:
EURAM 2014 WAVES AND WINDS OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVENESS, 2014, pp. 1 - 40 (40)
Issue Date:
2014
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ThumbnailBusiness Case Control FINAL MANUSCRIPT EURAM 2014.pdfAccepted Manuscript version889.44 kB
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ACCEPTANCE LETTER AND PEER REVIEWS EURAM Kock Kopmann Killen.pdf Published version157.81 kB
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Practitioner and professional organization literature places strong emphasis on business cases with the expectation that the use of business cases to inform and drive investment decisions will produce better results. In particular, from a project portfolio perspective the business case of a project may provide the underlying rationale for value-oriented management. However, academic research regarding the use of business cases at a project portfolio level is scarce. By exploring the facets of business case control – encompassing the initial review of project business cases, the ongoing monitoring during project execution, and the post-project tracking until the business case is realized – this study investigates the relationship between business control and project portfolio success. Furthermore, we analyze critical enablers and relevant contingencies for the application of business case control. The results are based on a cross-industry sample of 183 medium-sized and large companies and rely on two informants from each firm. We found significant evidence for the positive relationship between business case control and project portfolio success. In addition, accountability for business case realization and corresponding incentive systems increase this positive effect. Finally, we found that contingencies (portfolio size and external turbulence) also have a moderating effect. This study contributes to research and practice by developing and validating a multi-dimensional construct for business case control, providing evidence for its effectiveness and enabling conditions.
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