Organizing inter-institutional projects: a real-time study on the dynamics of project processes

Jonas Söderlund / Therese Dille

To elevate the process agenda in project studies, this paper seeks to contribute with a grounded approach of an inter-institutional project involving actors from diverse institutional fields, involved in simultaneous organizational and technology development that is circumscribed by political decision making. The intention with the grounded approach is to offer two complementary analyses a first-order analysis focusing on the evolution of phases and the nature of project processes, and a second-order analysis explaining the observed development trajectory. The first-order analysis offers a process description of the project under study that responds to the call for empirical investigations of the evolution of large-scale projects. The second-order analysis offers theoretical interpretations of the development focusing on the role of institutions and time in the organizing of complex projects. What then emerges is a framework for project organizing that addresses its process properties and points to an evolutionary trajectory