The Strategic Formation of Project Networks: A Relational Practice Perspective

Human Relations, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 551-573, 2010

23 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2010 Last revised: 18 Apr 2011

Stephan Manning

University of Massachusetts at Boston - College of Management

Date Written: March 31, 2010

Abstract

This article develops a relational practice perspective on the strategic formation of project networks as organizational forms, based on structuration theory and an in-depth case study of a European researcher and his project network. Project networks are defined as strategically coordinated sets of longer-term, project-based relationships. As project entrepreneurs advance in their careers from project partners to coordinators, they learn to apply and combine certain practices through which they gradually transform part of their emerging professional networks into project networks with increased coordination capacity. These practices include: making and renewing project-based contacts, pooling potential project partners, and maintaining core project partnerships. This study advances our understanding of the institutional embeddedness of network agency and the micro-foundations of networks as organizational forms in project businesses and beyond.

Keywords: coordination capacity, network coordination, network formation, network pools, project entrepreneur, project network, relational practices, strategic agency, structuration theory

JEL Classification: M51, M54, M55, L82, J24, J44, J62, L14, D23, Z13, Z19, M11

Suggested Citation

Manning, Stephan, The Strategic Formation of Project Networks: A Relational Practice Perspective (March 31, 2010). Human Relations, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 551-573, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1582702

Stephan Manning (Contact Author)

University of Massachusetts at Boston - College of Management ( email )

100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125
United States

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