Governance interface in project organising 

What is the research?

This proposed research will adopt a narrative approach to explore the governance interface in the project organising where Owners & Operators and Projects & Programmes overlap.  It will do this by exploring the macro-level narratives of governance as formalised at industry and organisational levels so at investment or portfolio levels and from the micro-level narratives of governance as mobilised by managers in Owners & Operators organisations in day-to-day project perspective.

Why is it important?

The presence of a governance framework is seen as being crucial to the management of organisations, programs and projects. It is commonly understood that every organisation, working on the project or program, should have its own form of governance (APM reports). There are different definitions available on governance. Governance sets the rules and makes the decisions that guide the way actions and relationships are to be conducted in an organisation. Project governance is seen as the arrangement for overseeing the program and projects; it is a way of engaging senior people in the project and get their buy-in and ensure the decisions can be made. The APM Governance SIG defines governance as "set of policies, regulations, functions, processes, procedures and responsibilities that define the establishment, management and control of projects, programmes and portfolios."

Winch (2014) proposes a conceptual framework by setting out three principal organisational domains – Owners & Operators, Project-based firms, and Projects & Programmes – and identifying their interfaces – Commercial, Resources, and Governance. Winch and Leiringer (2015) further propose that governance capabilities are required to manage the interface between the Owner & Operator and the Projects & Programmes. To date, little is known about this governance interface. “We still know little about how governance arrangements actually work in practice, and which approaches to assurance are most appropriate in which contexts” (Winch and Leiringer, 2015, p.7). Of further interest is the interaction between macro-level narratives of governance as mobilised by organisations in the form of policies and reports and micro-level narratives of governance as mobilised by practicing managers in these organisations. This is the gap that the study will address.

Who is the intended audience?

Industry practitioners and policymakers directly involved or interested in governance.

APM members.

Academics who study governance interface in the project organising and those who are interested in narrative approaches

How can I take part in the research or find out more?

Please contact Natalya Sergeeva, I am keen to conduct interviews and workshops with industry practitioners interested or involved in governance interface. Case studies, personal experiences and other relevant materials are valuable to support the research project.

What are the benefits in taking part?

The benefits in taking part will be in enhancing understanding of governance interface in project organising and learning from different perspectives on governance. Your insights will help to shape the outcome of the research. The findings and outputs with potentially be useful in shaping future practices, and will be shared will all participants and wider APM community.  

Any other considerations?

The research will follow ethical procedures in terms of guaranteeing the anonymity of companies and individuals and respecting aspects of confidentiality.   

Who is the research lead?

Natalya Sergeeva is a Lecturer in the Management of Projects at The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London (UCL).


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