Transition Processes in an Interorganizational Platform Project

It is always a pleasure to receive an email that starts with “It is a pleasure to accept your manuscript entitled […] in its current form for publication…” This time it was a paper written together with Thommie Burström and it has been published in International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. The paper is titled, “Transition processes in an interorganizational platform project” and you will find the abstract below. The full paper can be downloaded here.

To cite the paper: Burström, Thommie and Jacobsson, Mattias (2012),”Transition processes in an interorganizational platform project”, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 400 – 419.

Structured abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify and understand challenges related to transition processes that occur between projects and the permanent organization, as well as the outcome of such processes.

Approach: The study is based on an explorative, in-depth case study of a multi-project setting. The concept phase of three projects was followed by participative observations and ongoing interviews over a 15-week period at two sites and in two countries. The empirical material was analyzed through a process-oriented approach focusing on daily project activities.

Findings: Transition processes are characterized by containing operational complexities. These operational complexities demand project stakeholders to perform multiple translational and transformative activities. The outcomes from these activities are, for example, strategic, operational, and functional fine-tuning, but also attitudinal turnaround.

Limitation: This research is based on an interorganizational vehicle platform project setting. Therefore, the findings from this study cannot easily be generalized to other settings. However, it is likely that actors in other interorganizational project settings can benefit from the finding, since there probably are a multitude of transition processes in such projects as well.

Practical implications: Managers can learn that it is important to map all related transition processes, analyze the implications that these processes have on the project, and perform a dialog with project members so that the sense of operational complexity and uncertainty can be reduced. This type of action will reduce feelings of frustration and create a sense of readiness to deal with unexpected events.

Originality/value: The paper’s value is two-fold. First, the setting “an interorganizational vehicle platform” is largely under studied; and second, the paper pinpoints three unique transition processes and thereby contributes to the sparsely researched area of transition processes.

Keywords: Organizational change, Transition management, Process management, Project management, Platform