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4 - Rules versus results: sources and resolution of institutional conflicts on Indian metro railway projects

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Ashwin Mahalingam
Affiliation:
Indian Institute of Technology (IITM), India
Raymond E. Levitt
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
W. Richard Scott
Affiliation:
Stanford University
W. Richard Scott
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Raymond E. Levitt
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
Ryan J. Orr
Affiliation:
Stanford University, California
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Summary

As indicated by previous chapters, an increased need for public facilities and infrastructural improvements of all kinds – transportation, energy production and distribution, clean water, and sanitation – has led to a rapid rise in the volume of activity in the international construction industry in recent times – in particular, in developing countries. As a consequence, we observe an increase in the number of large “global projects” that involve collaboration among participants from multiple companies and countries.

In addition to the complexities present in most large engineering projects, global projects are distinct from nonglobal projects in that the former involve the necessity to interact with individuals, firms, and agencies from diverse national and cultural backgrounds. As a consequence, participants confront a variety of institutional differences – including regulatory, normative, and cultural-cognitive disparities with which they must attempt to cope (see Chapter 2; Scott 2008). The existence of these differences presents substantial challenges to global projects, imposing associated “institutional transaction costs” requiring time, attention, and the expenditure of additional resources (see Chapters 1 and 5).

A case study was carried out to investigate the types of challenges posed by institutional differences in one large construction project. In addition to examining institutionally based conflicts, we identified some of the ways in which these conflicts were resolved and, in particular, the types of actors who were instrumental to their resolution.

Type
Chapter
Information
Global Projects
Institutional and Political Challenges
, pp. 113 - 134
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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