Research seminar by Jens Roehrich

Orchestrating inter-organizational networks to deliver megaprojects

2019.01.23 | Merete Elmann

Date Mon 18 Mar
Time 10:00 11:15
Location Room 2628-M303, Department of Management, Aarhus BSS, Aarhus University

Professor Jens Roehrich


On Monday 18 March 2019 at 10:00 in room 2628-M303, Professor Jens Roehrich from the University of Bath will give a seminar entitled   

Orchestrating inter-organizational networks to deliver megaprojects

Everyone is welcome!  

Inter-organizational networks have been of increasing interest to management scholars with studies exploring network evolution and structure. More recently, research has begun to consider the role of a network orchestrator in shaping and governing inter-organizational networks. However, prior research has mainly focused on describing activities of a network orchestrator and largely neglected to examine network development, structure, and governance. Our study addresses this gap by examining in detail the drivers and activities behind the development, structure, and governance of inter-organizational networks. We empirically focus on the activities and processes through which a large, multinational energy company orchestrates inter-organizational networks from birth to maturity. These networks are vital in delivering services for a £16 billion nuclear power plant in the UK. More specifically, we analyze two inter-organizational networks, collecting rich primary and secondary dataset including interviews, site observations, and archival documents.

Our findings show that in the process of developing and governing inter-organizational networks, the network orchestrator encounters three types of complexities: vertical, horizontal, and task. These complexities influences the network orchestrator’s decisions pertaining to the network development, structure, and governance. Moreover, by focusing on the intentional development of networks and coordinating network activities, the study contributes to the emerging discourse on network orchestration. This study offers one of the first empirical studies to unpack key activities of a network orchestrator (in collaboration with network members) in setting up inter-organizational networks. We found that while decisions pertaining to the development and structure of the network ultimately concurred on orchestration and closed-system, respectively; the governance mode decisions varied across the cases.