Agency relationships in global project business

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


    Project-based firms (PBFs) serving global markets rely on local agents throughout the project life-cycle. In particular, agents are frequently used to support the PBFs efforts in project marketing, project implementation, and in provisioning of services to customers operating the delivered solutions. The purpose of this paper is to analyse principal-agent relationships in global project business from an agency perspective in order to provide further clarity to the their salient characteristics, and to identify mechanisms through which agency problems can be mitigated. Based on our analysis of earlier literature, it appears that PBFs’ principal-agent relationships with local actors during project front-end and operations phases are predominantly explorative in their nature whilst relationships during project implementation can be characterized as exploitative. Respectively, relationships of the former kind are governed by complex combinations of contractual and noncontractual mechanisms, while in relationships of the latter kind, rather simple contractual mechanisms are favoured by PBFs. Our findings imply that PBFs need to consider both the project life-cycle phase, as well as the characteristics and goals of individual agents, when designing mechanisms for governing their agency relationships.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of EURAM18 European Academy of Management conference 2018
    PublisherEuropean Academy of Management, EURAM
    Number of pages38
    ISBN (Electronic)978-2-9602195-0-0
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018
    Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
    EventEURAM European Academy of Management Conference -
    Duration: 19 Jun 201822 Jun 2018

    Publication series

    NameEURAM conference
    ISSN (Print)2466-7498


    ConferenceEURAM European Academy of Management Conference


    • Global project business, agency theory, local agents, project marketing, project implementation, service provisioning

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 0


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