The Engineering or Evolution of Co-Operation? A Tale of Two Partnering Projects

Bresnen, Mike and Marshall, Nicholas (2002) The Engineering or Evolution of Co-Operation? A Tale of Two Partnering Projects International Journal of Project Management, 20 (7). pp. 497-505. ISSN 0263-7863

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Accounts of the development of partnering in construction often stress the importance of formal mechanisms for ‘engineering’ collaboration and underplay the impact of social dynamics on the development of the relationship. Drawing upon case study evidence from two very different partnering projects, this paper examines the ways in which the nature and quality of relationships between client and contractor depend upon a complex and dynamic interplay of formal integrative mechanisms and informal social processes. The paper draws out a number of key implications for understanding partnering in practice. First, that attributing project success (or failure) to partnering is by no means a straightforward exercise. Second, that there is no one strategy or template for effective partnering. Third, that partnering is a dynamic process, involving short-term learning and mutual adjustment. Fourth, that wider organisational structures and cultures often have an impact upon partnering relationships. Finally, that partnering does not necessarily resolve project problems at source.

Item Type: Journal article
Subjects: N000 Business and Management > N200 Management studies > N210 Management techniques > N215 Change and Innovation
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1016/S0263-7863(01)00043-6
Faculties: Brighton Business School > Centre for Research in Innovation Management
Depositing User: editor centrim
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2009
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2015 14:11

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