Governmental Governance of Megaprojects
integrate their processes for the benefit
of the project, influencing contractor
and resource selection decisions carried out by private contractors, inducing
leadership accountability, and promoting shared project values. The findings
complement earlier understandings of
the management of megaprojects by
highlighting the active role of the state
and by describing governance mechanisms that have not been extensively
addressed in previous studies. Our findings also have implications for practitioners working in both Chinese and
Western megaprojects. In particular,
project managers who work in different
geographical contexts can be expected
to benefit from increased awareness
of the highly different roles that states
can assume in the governance of
megaprojects. We also found out that
the importance of developing strong
interpersonal and inter-organizational
relationships with public actors was
strongly emphasized. Combined, these
observations imply that the governance
of megaprojects appears to be highly
context-specific, and lessons learned in
one context might often not be directly
transferable to another geographical
Because we observed only a single
project, the generalizability of our findings is subject to the usual strict limitations. Based on a single case, we cannot
claim that the role of the CHQ would
be identical in all Chinese megaprojects or that all four governance mechanisms we identified could be observed
in other contexts. Finally, as a result
of the qualitative orientation of our
study, we are unable to make any claims
concerning the relations between the
observed governance structure and the
efficiency and effectiveness of the project outcomes.
As our study is limited to a single
case, we would welcome additional
research, and in particular, quantitative research addressing how various
governance mechanisms relate to the
efficiency and success of megaprojects.
Additional research is also needed to
be able to understand which contextual
factors, such as the political system,
tendering practices, and social factors,
are associated with the utilization of
different governance mechanisms. Such
research could help us move forward
from describing governance structures
to understanding what kind of structure
would be optimal in a given context. In
addition, our findings could be further
complemented by comparisons among
different kinds of subprojects executed
within the scope of a large megaproject.
Our focal project included subprojects
financed and constructed by foreign
investors, those financed by foreigners
and constructed by locals, and those
financed and constructed by locals. As
megaprojects are becoming increasingly international, it would be important to understand both the similarities
and differences in the management of
different categories of mixed nationality
The authors would like to acknowledge
the financial support provided by the
National Natural Science Foundation of
China (project number: 71390523).
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