Trust, control and knowledge integration in a rock tunnel project
Paper in proceedings, 2012
Rock tunnel projects that experience geological uncertainties tend to be both lengthier and more costly than planned. Traditional contract arrangements have proved to be less suitable when uncertainty is high; problem-solving being further hampered by contract-related distrust, communication failures and disputes. To efficiently respond to uncertainty and control risks of time and cost overruns, the knowledge of specialists in different firms needs to be mobilized. Findings from a case study of a railway tunnel project in Sweden aim to describe knowledge integration, communication and decision making related to geological conditions, comprising both formal and informal aspects. Findings show that formal and informal aspects are often complementary, also when they are contradictory, but that knowledge integration may suffer from a more formalized communication. Further, it is also important to consider relationships within the main actors' organizations as well as relationships and structures extending beyond the individual project.