Recent Trends in Research on Governance of Projects

Date: 20 October 2023
8:30pm – 9:30pm AEDT (Sydney, Australia)
5:30am-6:30am EDT (Montreal, Canada)
11:30am – 12:30pm CEST (Stockholm, Sweden)
10:30am – 11:30am BST (London, UK)
6:30pm – 7:30pm JST (Tokyo, Japan)

Registrations close: 13 October, 2023 5pm AEDT or when fully booked

Format: Webinar
Speakers: Shankar Sankaran, Nathalie Drouin, and Ralf Muller
Webinar Fee: A$24.95 or FREE for ICCPM Members
*Please ensure you are logged in to use your member discount


Topics to be covered:

Network governance or metagovernance – Ralf Muller
Interorganizational networks for project delivery grow in popularity and need their specific forms of governance. The book addresses this through specific chapters on the various layers of these networks, such as network governance for the individual network for a particular project, but also the governance of several of these networks as a network of networks, and finally, metagovernance, which lays the ground-rules to steer inter-organizational coordination and interaction. Each of these layers is described in detail, and real-life examples from industry and government provide observed practices. A chapter on these networks’ resilience provides insights into how to make these networks less susceptible to external and internal disturbances.

Environmental Social Governance (ESG) – Nathalie Drouin
Major infrastructure projects (MIPs) are common goods that are too often unsuited to the needs of populations. They are complex to manage and their implementation requires high capital, the involvement of multiple stakeholders and the consideration of environmental, social and governance challenges. Conventional governance practices of MIPs are no longer sufficient to ensure their success. The performance and success of MIPs are more based on the creation of social value, non-financial benefits that promote the economic development of societies and the well-being of their populations. Thus, a Chapter looks at Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria to highlight where these principles come from and the relationship with the governance of major infrastructure projects. It examines practical cases of MIPs to see how ESG is considered.

Organizational Project Management as a governance model – Shankar Sankaran
Models used to govern projects in practice fall under three categories – process, functional and layered. The speakers of this webinar developed organizational project management (OPM) based on organizational theories as a seven-layer model to integrate all project management related activities in of an organization into a cohesive network of activities to deliver benefits to its stakeholders. OPM can also be used as a governance model for projects. The speakers have also used cybernetic principles from systems theory to develop a viable governance model based on the viable systems model developed by Stafford Beer. The application of both these models will be discussed at the webinar.

Governance has developed into one of the most popular management and social sciences concepts in the last few decades. A wide variety of contemporary endeavours are nowadays not only looked at as an activity but also as an object of governance. Examples include ‘global governance’ for climate change endeavours, ‘infrastructure governance’ for endeavours to enhance infrastructure, ‘sustainable governance’ to implement sustainable strategy across a business, ‘good governance’ for endeavours to improve countries’ development, ‘new governance’ for New Public Management (NPM) by governments.

The academic project management community was introduced to the concept of governance in the late 1990s, with Turner and Keegan’s (1999) work on the versatility of organizations and its implementation through different governance approaches. Since then, governance research has gained substantial traction, especially after 2010, and expanded perspectives from the governance of a single project (a.k.a. project governance) to groups of projects, such as programs or portfolios (a.k.a. governance of projects) and to all project-related activities in an enterprise (a.k.a. organizational project governance) (e.g. Müller, Drouin & Sankaran, 2019). More recently, other diversifications included megaproject governance, governance of inter-organizational networks for projects, knowledge governance in projects, or decision-making in governance and governance of complex projects.

While this diversification of research in project-related governance progressed quickly, the variety of theoretical lenses used in these studies remains primarily limited to only six popular theories.

The three speakers have recently edited the forthcoming research handbook on governance of projects that is being published by Edward Elgar in September 2023 contributed to by several prominent researchers from across the world  addresses this shortcoming in perspectives on governance of projects by providing an overview of the current state of research in governance in the realm of projects, outlining governance phenomena worth investigating, and introducing some relatively new theoretical lenses worthwhile pursuing. Through that, the handbook aspires to provide practitioners and academics with a broad view of governance, spanning, for example, from the single project to the institutional investor or from sponsor decision-making to inter-organizational networks. This variety provides a rich set of powerful concepts and approaches based on a plethora of different empirically and conceptually assessed phenomena.

The speakers will present three aspects from the forthcoming research handbook to which they have contributed.

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Ralf Müller, DBA, MBA, PMP, is Professor of Project Management at BI Norwegian Business School. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Project Management Journal® and a Fellow of both the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the Centre for Excellence in Project Management. Ralf Müller lectures and researches worldwide in leadership, governance, and organizational project management. His research, concepts, and theories appeared in more than 300 academic publications and were acknowledged by IPMA, PMI, Emerald, and others with many awards, including several lifetime achievement awards. Stanford University ranks him as among the top 2 percent of the most influential scientists worldwide. Before joining academia, he spent 30 years in industry consulting with large enterprises and governments in more than 50 different countries for better project management and governance. Projects he worked on span from small up to USD 5 billion in value. He also held related line-manage­ment positions, such as the Worldwide Director of Project Management at NCR Corporation.

Nathalie Drouin, Ph.D. (Cambridge University, UK) MBA (HEC Montréal), LLB (Sherbrooke University), is the Chairholder of the Research Chair INFRA-S on Social Value of Infrastructures, Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, a full professor at the Department of Management, École des Sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG UQAM), Adjunct Professor at University of Technology Sydney, Australia and former Executive Director at KHEOPS: International Research Consortium on the Governance of Large Infrastructure Projects. She teaches on the Graduate Project Management Programs, ESG UQAM. Her research looks at organiza­tional project management, balanced leadership, and megaprojects. She is a member of the Board of Directors of CARGOM. With Ralf Müller and Shankar Sankaran, she has won the 2022 PMI Research Achievement Award, 2021 PMI Cleland Award, 2019 Walt Lipke Project Governance and Control Excellence Award, and 2019 International Project Management Association IPMA Research Award.

Shankar Sankaran, Ph.D., MEng, BSc, is a Professor of Organizational Project Management at the School of the Built Environment at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). He teaches advanced level programs on the Master of Project Management Course at UTS including organizational project management, systems thinking, and leading projects. His research inter­ests are in organizational project management, project leadership, systems thinking, and appli­cation of socio-technical systems in construction automation. He is current Chair of the Global Accreditation Centre of the Project Management Institute and past President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences and is leading an initiative called Project Governance for Engineers for the College of Leadership and Management of Engineers Australia. With Ralf Müller and Nathalie Drouin, Shankar has won the 2022 PMI Research Achievement Award, 2021 PMI Cleland Award, 2019 Walt Lipke Project Governance and Control Excellence Award, and 2019 International Project Management Association IPMA Research Award.


Prices are in Australian dollars.

  • For non-members: $24.95 incl. GST
  • For ICCPM Members: FREE


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