Learning from interorganizational projects

Rehab Iftikhar, Tuomas Ahola, Aurangzeab Butt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Purpose: The purpose of this study is to consolidate the existing research on interorganizational projects and to explore how organizations learn by closely examining multilevel learning, that is, organizational and interorganizational learning.

Design/methodology/approach: This article adopts a single case study approach, examining the Islamabad–Rawalpindi Metro project in Pakistan, with data consisting of interview results and archival data. An inductive approach is used for data analysis.

Findings: An empirically grounded learning model was developed based on an interorganizational project following eight lessons: capacity building, personality traits of leadership, working procedures, impeccable planning and implementation, involvement of stakeholders, design compatibility, investigation of underground services, conditions and maintenance of databases, and conceive rational timelines. These lessons learned were classified into three categories: (1) organizational capacity, (2) organizational embeddedness and (3) collective awareness.

Originality/value: This paper develops a novel learning model that can deepen our understanding of the practices and processes involved in multilevel learning. This study contributes to and extends the literature on organizational and interorganizational learning by studying an interorganizational setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-120
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number1
Early online date22 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Interorganizational learning
  • Interorganizational projects
  • Lessons learned
  • Organizational learning

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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