Doing strategy in project-based organizations: Actors and patterns of action
Journal article, 2018
In the project management literature, projects have often been conceptualized as mere implementation sites of organizational strategy. However, such rationalization seldom draws on empirical evidence of strategy as it unfolds at the micro-level and at the interfaces between projects and the organization. Drawing on rich case-study data, this article explores strategy as-it-is-practiced in a large project-based organization. Using a Strategy-as-Practice lens to identify key patterns of strategizing actions, we found that project mind-sets and skill-sets afforded project actors legitimacy to act as strategists on all organizational levels. Project actualities therefore broadly shape strategy in the organization, and play a much larger role in organizational strategizing than typically portrayed in the literature. The findings are used to suggest new perspectives regarding who are strategists and what strategy is in project-based organizations, and outline new directions for a revitalized research agenda on strategy in the project-management field.