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  • Cited by 80
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
June 2012
Print publication year:
Online ISBN:
Organisational Sociology, Organisation Studies, Management, Sociology

Book description

As the world's population continues to grow, there is an ever increasing need for huge investment in basic infrastructure: water and sewage, energy production and distribution, transportation and telecommunication. At the same time, infrastructure systems in developed countries are deteriorating and in need of renewal. Today, many of the engineering and economic problems surrounding infrastructure construction projects have been solved, but the threat of social misalignments and political conflicts renders the development and management of such projects more challenging than ever before. This book presents a new theoretical framework that allows us to analyze the institutional and social movement processes, both negative and positive, that surround global infrastructure projects as they confront cross-national and cross-sectoral (such as private-public partnerships) institutional differences. The value of this framework is illustrated through a series of studies on a wide range of infrastructure projects, including roads, railroads, ports, airports, water supply and energy pipelines.


‘Project organizations have been around a long time - think of master builders coordinating the work of many trades in the construction of a cathedral. But until the advent of modern communications and transportation, projects were limited geographically and conducted face-to-face. Scott, Levitt, and Orr show us how projects now span space, culture, and political boundaries in the development of megaprojects of vast scale. Global projects greatly increase the possibilities for what engineering can accomplish, but the ensuing social, cultural, and technological complexity creates new challenges as well. A very timely and well researched book.’

Nicole Biggart - Chevron Chair in Energy Efficiency and Professor of Management, University of California, Davis

‘A major step forward in the understanding of large-scale, multiparty, international projects as a business model and organization form and how these projects interact with the political and institutional contexts within which they are embedded. A must-read for scholars interested in projects as organizations, international business, and the interactions of business with social and political institutions in general. It also provides excellent framing for reflective practitioners engaged in such projects.’

Donald Lessard - Epoch Foundation Professor of International Management, MIT Sloan and co-author of Strategic Management of Large Engineering Projects

‘This book is a must-read for anyone interested in large global projects, and especially their institutional and political contexts.’

Bent Flyvbjerg - BT Professor of Major Programme Management, University of Oxford and principal author of Megaprojects and Risk: An Anatomy of Ambition

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