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The governance of major public infrastructure projects: the process of translation

The governance of major public infrastructure projects: the process of translation PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the process of translation of an institutionalized governance framework as adapted to a major project in practice. Although infrastructure projects have been studied for decades, most studies have emphasized economic or contingency-based perspectives. Of those studies, some researchers have focused on governance frameworks for public infrastructure projects, and their impact for shaping the front-end phase of those projects. Yet, little is known about the way actors translate and enact those governance frameworks into practice. Understanding this translation process will lead to a better understanding of the overall performance of major infrastructure projects.Design/methodology/approachThis qualitative research is based on a case study of one public infrastructure project in the health sector in Quebec, Canada. Through non-participant observation and interviews, the planning phase of the project is presented as it unfolds.FindingsThe process of translation is presented, from the ostensive, institutionalized governance framework, to appropriation into performative practices, which resulted in 12 specific practices: four “structuring” practices at the institutional level, five “normalizing” practices at the organizational level and three “facilitating” practices at the project level.Originality/valueThe main contribution of this paper is to enrich our understanding of the governance of major public infrastructure projects with process- and practice-based theories. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Managing Projects in Business Emerald Publishing

The governance of major public infrastructure projects: the process of translation

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1753-8378
DOI
10.1108/IJMPB-08-2017-0095
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the process of translation of an institutionalized governance framework as adapted to a major project in practice. Although infrastructure projects have been studied for decades, most studies have emphasized economic or contingency-based perspectives. Of those studies, some researchers have focused on governance frameworks for public infrastructure projects, and their impact for shaping the front-end phase of those projects. Yet, little is known about the way actors translate and enact those governance frameworks into practice. Understanding this translation process will lead to a better understanding of the overall performance of major infrastructure projects.Design/methodology/approachThis qualitative research is based on a case study of one public infrastructure project in the health sector in Quebec, Canada. Through non-participant observation and interviews, the planning phase of the project is presented as it unfolds.FindingsThe process of translation is presented, from the ostensive, institutionalized governance framework, to appropriation into performative practices, which resulted in 12 specific practices: four “structuring” practices at the institutional level, five “normalizing” practices at the organizational level and three “facilitating” practices at the project level.Originality/valueThe main contribution of this paper is to enrich our understanding of the governance of major public infrastructure projects with process- and practice-based theories.

Journal

International Journal of Managing Projects in BusinessEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 5, 2018

References