Projects, Paths, and Practices: Sustaining and Leveraging Project-Based Relationships

Industrial and Corporate Change, 20 (5), 1369-1402, 2011

Posted: 24 Sep 2010 Last revised: 24 Jul 2012

See all articles by Stephan Manning

Stephan Manning

University of Sussex Business School

Jörg Sydow

Freie Universität Berlin

Date Written: September 24, 2011

Abstract

In this paper, we examine how project entrepreneurs maintain and leverage longer-term project-based relationships in highly uncertain and volatile project businesses with clients and key service providers across ever changing collaborative contexts. Based on a thorough analysis of TV project networks, using both quantitative and qualitative data, we find that project entrepreneurs form core teams with particular clients and service providers, and establish sequences of related projects thereby forming collaborative paths. These paths allow partners to exploit and stretch existing, and explore new capabilities and partner resources across time and contexts of collaboration. Paths are promoted by connecting practices partners apply to establish task and team linkages between past, present and potential future projects. Our findings promote a more processual understanding of project-based organizing and learning, and tie formation in dynamic industry contexts.

Keywords: Project network, Project entrepreneur, Path dependence, Project capabilities, Project-based organizing, Repeated collaboration, Project portfolio, Team Recruiting

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

Suggested Citation

Manning, Stephan and Sydow, Jörg, Projects, Paths, and Practices: Sustaining and Leveraging Project-Based Relationships (September 24, 2011). Industrial and Corporate Change, 20 (5), 1369-1402, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1682201

Stephan Manning (Contact Author)

University of Sussex Business School ( email )

Sussex House
Falmer
Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

Jörg Sydow

Freie Universität Berlin ( email )

School of Business & Economics
Boltzmannstrasse 20
D-14195 Berlin
Germany
49-30-83853782 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.fu-berlin.de/wiwiss

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