Title: Projectscapes: the role of spatial settings in managing complex megaprojects
Authors: Alfons Van Marrewijk; Karen Smits
Addresses: Department of Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands ' Department of Organization Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, VU University, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Abstract: By definition, complex megaprojects involve large-scale activities at geographical dispersed spatial settings. However, little attention has been given to spatial complexity of megaprojects. To fill in this gap, literature on organisational spaces has been explored to learn about the relation between spatial settings and organisational development. Furthermore, data on two longitudinal cases is used to explore this relation in megaprojects; the Dutch High Speed Train megaproject and the Panama Canal Expansion Program. Findings indicate two different intersections of spatial design and organisational development; location of project head quarters and spatial distribution of project locations. At these intersections spatial settings shape actions of project employees which results in both processes of organisational integration and fragmentation. The practical implications for project managers are at the level of cultural risks and unintended consequences related to megaproject design.
Keywords: organisational spaces; megaprojects; spatial settings; ethnography; complexity; Holland; high speed trains; Panama Canal; project management; cultural risks.
International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2014 Vol.2 No.4, pp.278 - 292
Published online: 13 Sep 2014 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article