Strategic Adaptation Challenges to Unplanned Project Work: Developing a Governance Framework



The arrival of unplanned project work – referred to as disturbances – creates adaptation challenges that could impact individual, within-project, and across-project tasks. This paper develops a conceptual framework to describe the strategic adaptation challenges of unplanned work created by disturbances and identify several factors that can amplify these challenges, especially to the extent that tasks are coupled in networks of increasing size. Drawing on the behavioral assumptions of bounded rationality and opportunism, three discrete structural and alternative internal-governance modes for managing these adaptations are described and their comparative costs and competencies assessed. Drawing on a comparative institutional analysis (Williamson, 1991), the paper proposes that the attributes of the coupled-task network and the efficacy of governance alternatives form a discriminating alignment to predict the efficient choice of organizational internal-governance mode. Furthermore, this prediction shifts in response variation in the frequency and uncertainty of disturbances.

This seminar will take place in T10-67. Alternatively, see below to join online:

Meeting ID: 951 5756 5940

Passcode: 519935