Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore and explain the circumstances in which a highly collaborative integrated project delivery form such an alliance is the most appropriate choice of delivering infrastructure projects. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws upon two previously published studies on alliancing to enable gathering insights from a quantitative study with some qualitative data that indicates project alliance delivery performance is high and suggests why it may be adopted as a project delivery form. A second qualitative study recently completed and published on integrated collaborative forms of project delivery such as alliances is re-analysed to better understand how and why this form may be successful. Together these two studies allowed a focus on the motivation to form an alliance and specific conditions relating to the alliance party’s level of ability and willingness to deeply collaborate. Findings – The motivation to deeply collaborate may be triggered by specific internal and external trigger mechanisms. These are identified in the paper together with discussion about the requirement of parties to have sufficient knowledge, skills, attributes and experience to collaborate at a deeply engaged level. Research limitations/implications – The data used in the studies were from large scale infrastructure construction projects. The examples are mainly drawn from countries where collaboration is common and culturally acceptable; results may not apply to cultures, country or workplace, where high levels of competition are seen to be the optimal strategy for project delivery success. Also, the data were drawn from construction project management (PM). Other project-based areas such as professional services for example may present a different context and hence a different rationale. Practical implications – The study provides deep insights about the nature of collaboration. It may have wider applicability. Social implications – Project organising is a social activity with social implications for how they are delivered that affect internal as well as external stakeholders. Being mindful about the motivation to choose a particular delivery form is important. Originality/value – This is a new area of research in PM and the world faces a massive demand for large scale complex projects. This paper may provide a rational to drive policy in project delivery choices.
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 4, 2016