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Adukpo, S E and Leiringer, R (2016) Client Project Governance Capabilities: Unpacking the Concept and Governance Mechanisms in Practice. In: Chan, P W and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2016, Manchester UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 165–174.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: governance capabilities, infrastructure development, public sector clients, client capabilities, project capabilities, project governance.
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-0-1
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/5b1c25926875a6bceb5d688a3252b71c.pdf
Globally public sector clients are increasingly being questioned regarding their ability to achieve value for money, and face the grinding pressures of improving infrastructure project delivery while cutting administrative costs. In short, they are being asked to do more for less, i.e. produce more public value with fewer resources; at the same time as cost and time overruns on major projects are increasingly highlighted and subjected to public scrutiny. These developments are not lost on the research community and there is now an emerging body of literature that seeks to explore how such organisations, are structured and resourced, undertake the definition and delivery of the projects they promote, and what effect this has on the project outcomes. This paper seeks to build on this literature set. It does so through the theoretical lens of organisational capabilities. The particular focus is on project governance and the associated ‘governance capabilities’. This capability set refers to the relationship between project owners and their projects, and processes by which project owners assure themselves that they have selected the most appropriate projects, and that such projects are progressing as desired. Drawing on an extensive review of the academic literature on project governance from both a supply-side and client perspective, as well as public policy sources, we propose that client project governance capabilities are underpinned by three sets of sub-capabilities: project assurance, project coordination and asset-integration capabilities. We unpack these capability sets with particular attention given to the multiple ways in which they can be deployed. Illustrative examples are drawn from multiple case-studies of large infrastructure clients conducted in Northern Europe and Hong Kong. Conclusions are drawn highlighting the importance of a strong owner for the successful realisation of the project and how project governance capabilities are key to achieving this.