FOR LARGE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS
Dr Franziska Drews
UCL – 14.03.2019
First Things Firstâ€¦
â€¢ What procurement are we talking about?
â€¢ What are we buying?
â€¢ Which perspective do we take?
â€¢ What steps are involved?
â€¢ Do you have any examples?
1. Packaging â–º 2. Selecting â–º 3. Contracting
But what if?
â€¢ Existing literature and practitioner thinking largely limited to
â€¢ commercial efficiency
â€¢ Existing research on continuous organisation with continued existence (i.e.
â€¢ We spend a lot of money on this! Shouldnâ€™t we do better?
Organization Design Literature
â€¢ Traditional focus on TCE &
â€¢ Theory suggests 4 perspectives
(Santos & Eisenhardt 2005)
â€¢ Research focus on long-term,
firm in efficient market
â€¢ limited knowledge as to how
â€¢ no empirical work on all 4
â€œWhy do firms exist?â€
â€œWho are we as an
â€œWhy does a particular
â€œHow does a firm
dependent on its
â€¢ 66 semi-structured interviews
â€¢ archival documents, internal &
â€¢ specialist press
â€¢ non-participant observation
â€¢ built 4 detailed, factual accounts
â€¢ used the 4 perspectives as
preliminary codes (based on
Santos & Eisenhardt 2005)
â€¢ single case and later cross case
Terminal 2 – LHR
4 Case Studies:
1. How does each of the four perspectives â€“ power,
identity, TCE and capability â€“ contribute to the
design of organisational boundaries of the
capital-intensive project-based organization?
2. How do the four perspectives interact in the
setting of the boundaries in capital-intensive
Boundary Design Conceptual Framework
TCE & CAPABILITIES
boundaries within the
constrained solution space
(i.e. the funnel) to design
the project delivery
Choices based on TCE
and Capabilities create
Infinite number of
choices (arrows) as to how
to design the
POWER & IDENTITY
limit choices that can be
made to set the
structure of the project
including both buyersupplier boundaries and
The organizational structure of the project delivery organization is best understood
as the outcome of a search to balance cost efficiency and capabilities considerations,
within a solution space constrained by power and organizational identity.
Power & Identity
Limit choices that can be
made in designing
TCE & Capabilities
constrained solution space
Why do we care?
1. We explain how each of the four perspectives contributes to the
design of the organization boundaries in this setting, including any
differences to existing organization design literature
2. We show how the four perspectives interact through constraints and
choices in designing the organization architecture
1. We provide a cognitive framework as to how different perspectives
interact to form organizational boundaries
â€œI had an organisation who scored technically pretty much perfect, but they were
bloody expensive. So in reality I had to discount [them, because] we can’t afford
themâ€ (T2 – Senior Commercial Manager)
â€œ[â€¦] what we want are the people, the teams with the right competence, and also
with the right behaviours. (TTT – Senior Procurement Manager)
â€œthere was a lot of political pressure and a lot of intervention from the mayor’s
office and the â€˜great and goodâ€™ in Londonâ€ (LO 2012 – Senior Procurement
â€œIt isn’t about building the railway; It’s about getting the money into the economy.
The railway is a by-product, as far as the politicians are concerned.â€ (Crossrail –
Head of Procurement)
Details on CONSTRAINTS
Details on CHOICES
Horizontal: Scale of Capabilities
Vertical: Range of Capabilities
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