Department of Organization

New Publication: Transforming Engineering Systems - Learnings from Organising Megaprojects


New Co-authored Publication: Transforming Engineering Systems - Learnings from Organising Megaprojects

Associate Professor Joana Geraldi, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School (CBS)

Professor Andrew Davies is the RM Phillips Freeman Chair and Professor of Innovation Management in SPRU, University of Sussex Business School, Brighton, UK

Whether through the delivery of a sewage system or energy distribution system, megaprojects are designed to intervene in engineering systems in a purposeful and deliberate manner. Although they always transform the system, their impact is partly predictable and partly unknowable. While the uncertainty surrounding megaprojects is widely accepted in practice and literature, project achievements are still compared against planned goals, and megaprojects are declared to be over budget, over time, over and over again, Flyvbjerg poignantly insists. Why is it so hard to design, deliver, and yield long-term benefits from megaprojects? Grounding our work in project studies literature, we discuss four challenges involved in managing megaprojects: (1) delivering purposeful interventions, (2) integrating complex work under high levels of uncertainty, (3) collaborating with friends and foes, and (4) innovating and learning under high time and budget constraints. The chapter offers implications for practice and research at the intersection between engineering systems and megaprojects.

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The page was last edited by: Department of Organization // 12/01/2021