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The Trophy Project Case Study

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International Journal of Project Management 26 (2008) 591–600 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijproman Managing public–private megaprojects: Paradoxes, complexity, and project design
Alfons van Marrewijk

a,*

, Stewart R. Clegg

b,1

, Tyrone S. Pitsis

b,2

, Marcel Veenswijk

a,3

a

b

Department of Culture, Organization and Management, Faculty of Social Science, Vrije Universiteit, De Boelelaan 1081,
1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
ICAN Research Center, Faculty of Business, University of Technology, Sydney, PO Box 123, Broadway NSW 2007, Sydney, Australia
Received 1 March 2007; received in revised form 25 July 2007; accepted 20 September 2007

Abstract
Recent studies show that despite their growing popularity, megaprojects – large-scale, complex projects delivered through various partnerships between public and private organisations – often fail to meet costs estimations, time schedules and project outcomes and are motivated by vested interests which operate against the public interest. This paper presents a more benign and theoreticallygrounded view on what goes wrong by comparing the project designs, daily practices, project cultures and management approaches of two recent megaprojects in The Netherlands and Australia, showing how these projects made sense of uncertainty, ambiguity and risk. We conclude that project design and project cultures play a role in determining how managers and partners cooperate to achieve project objectives to a greater or lesser extent.
Ó 2007 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Megaproject; Managing projects; Organisation design; Organisation culture; Partnerships

1. Introduction
Megaprojects have been described as multibillion-dollar mega-infrastructure projects, [1–3], usually commissioned by governments and delivered by…...

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