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Samordningens dynamik: om samordningens samspel och förändring i ett interorganisatoriskt anläggningsprojekt
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The dynamics of coordination (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis takes its starting point from one of the most essential parts of organization theory, namely coordination. It joins a new and emerging approach within which coordination is not only treated as a function but as a dynamic process. The thesis reflects everyday practice during a major construction project and focuses on how coordination is undertaken, and how it develops over time. The aim is to create an understanding of the dynamics of coordination. This refers both to the interaction between different types of coordination that continuously take place in the process of carrying out collective performances, and to how the coordination changes over time.

The case study, that is the basis of this thesis, was carried out from 2006-2010 in a large construction project with Skanska and Jämtkraft as contractual partners. The project – called Destination 2011 – corresponds to an investment of € 100-110 million and aims at securing Jämtkraft’s power distribution from severe weather conditions in order to minimize the risk of power blackouts.

The theory chapter of the thesis has an integrative approach and is based on theories of coordination. On the basis of this a conceptual framework was developed that focuses on how coordination takes place and how it can change in relation to its context. This was done in three steps. First, coordination was defined, positioned and set in relation to the organizational context in terms of uncertainty and complexity. Second, five broad categories were derived which indicate how different organizational arrangements create coordination. Third, the integrating conditions which evolve from the organizational arrangements were presented. These integrating conditions are essential for the individuals to coordinate their activities.

Based on the case study, and supported by the theoretical framework, a process-oriented analysis was conducted in four steps. The first step was a narrative case description which focuses on the development of the project and the activities that make up the project process. The second step consisted of a thematic theory driven analysis that explains how the project members use a combination of different organizational arrangements to create the integrating conditions required for the coordination to occur. The third step of the analysis was based on a process analysis combined with temporal bracketing. This step focuses on how the coordination is structured and enables the understanding of how the coordination changes over time. In this step two temporal brackets (or micro-processes) were created, the first of which represents a sub-project under the first half of the project, and the second a sub-project during the second half. For each micro-process an analysis was carried out which identified a number of coordination processes. These coordination processes link the implementation phase together and explain how, and why, the coordination is built up as it is during a sub-project. In the fourth and final step a comparative analysis was conducted with illustrative narrative sequences. This analysis puts the two micro-processes in relation to each other, illustrates how the coordination changes over time, and exposes the underlying forces that explain the identified change. These analyses, brought together, show the interaction between different types of coordination, how the coordination is built-up, and how it changes over time, thereby providing an understanding of the dynamics of coordination.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Arkitektkopia , 2011. , 249 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 77
Keyword [en]
coordination, organization theory, projects, temporary organizations, dynamics
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43757ISBN: 978-91-7459-230-6 (print)OAI: diva2:415834
Public defence
2011-06-08, Hörsal D, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-05-11 Created: 2011-05-09 Last updated: 2012-04-26Bibliographically approved

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