A (meta)governance framework for multi-level governance of inter-organizational project networks

Ralf Müller*, Charlotte Alix-Séguin, Raimonda Alonderienė, Mario Bourgault, Alfredas Chmieliauskas, Nathalie Drouin, Yongjian Ke, Inga Minelgaite, Margarita Pilkienė, Saulius Šimkonis, Christine Unterhitzenberger, Anne Live Vaagaasar, Linzhuo Wang, Fangwei Zhu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Little is known about the governance of inter-organizational networks for projects. This study empirically develops a theoretical framework for this, using 28 project networks as case studies, applying 124 interviews in ten countries. The abductively developed three-layered governance framework has the individual network for a project at its lowest layer, explained through Multi-level Governance Theory. This is steered by a middle layer for the governance of networks, addressing the steering of the different networks these organizations are part of. At the top is metagovernance, where the ground rules are set by governments or investors. For each layer, the governance dimensions, as well as the enablers and disablers between layers, are defined. The study’s resulting theory provides an overall understanding of the governance of multiple networks for projects and provides practitioners with the parameters to optimize their networks for better project results.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Other keywords

  • governance of networks
  • inter-organizational networks
  • Meta-governance
  • network governance
  • projects


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