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South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 1015-8812

Abstract

BEKKER, Michiel C. Project governance: "schools of thought". S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. [online]. 2014, vol.17, n.1, pp. 22-32. ISSN 1015-8812.

The terminology, definition and context of project governance have become a focal subject for research and discussions in project management literature. This article reviews literature on the subject of project governance and categorises the arguments into three schools of thought namely the single-firm school, multi-firm school and large capital governance school. The single-firm school is concerned with governance principles related to intra-organisational projects and practice these principles at a technical level. The multifirm school addresses the governance principles concerned with two of more organisations participating on a contractual basis on the same project and focuses its governance efforts at the technical and strategic level. The large capital school considers projects as temporary organisations, forming their own entity and establishing governance principles at an institutional level. From these schools of thought it can be concluded that the definition of project governance is a function of stakeholder complexity and functional positioning in the organisation. It is also evident that further research is required to incorporate other governance variables and related theories such as transaction theory, social networks and agency theory. The development of project governance frameworks should also consider the complexity of projects spanning across international companies, across country borders and incorporating different value systems, legal systems, corporate governance guidelines, religions and business practices.

Keywords : project governance; governance of projects; meta-governance; governance through projects; project management.

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