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date: 24 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Megaprojects are characterized by complex technical interdependencies—both compatible and contentious—novel technologies and systems, cross-cutting regional and political forces, and the presence of multiple institutional frameworks. This chapter stresses the role played by institutions. Employing a broad conception, it views institutions as consisting of three types of elements: regulatory (rules, laws, orders), normative (norms and values) and cultural-cognitive (beliefs, schemas, frames). As a form, megaprojects incorporate and are subject to a diverse, complex, and conflicting combination of elements. Viewed as an organization field, megaprojects confront a highly diverse set of participants who exhibit varying degrees of embeddedness in their local environment and are obliged to manage their operations across multiple changing phases which entail shifts over time in their power and influence. These challenges require that successful megaprojects develop flexible legal-contractual managerial controls, common norms and values, and shared identities anchored in a robust project culture.

Keywords: institutions, regulatory, normative, organization, cultural-cognitive, legal-contractual, project culture, beliefs, schemas, frames

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