Captain and conscript or companions in operational reconfiguration? The case of an infrastructure owner with projects and asset management units


Infrastructure owners with projects and asset management units reconfigure their operational capabilities to deal with external stressors. We distinguish between two reconfiguration approaches, the discrete and the continuous approach. The discrete approach is broadly adopted in the infrastructure sector and draws from the project capabilities literature, whereas the continuous approach draws from the general management literature and views reconfiguration as a best practice dynamic capability. This article compares and contrasts the two approaches by leveraging an ethnographic study of an infrastructure owner. We explain why the discrete approach was initially adopted but ultimately failed. Later, by adopting the continuous approach, the organisation succeeded by enabling the two units to work collaboratively by developing two dynamic capabilities; negotiating and disseminating for reconfiguring their operational capabilities. Our research contributes to the theoretical elaboration of why and how change management processes succeed or fail. We discuss the implications of our study to the capabilities literature and project organising research and the managerial implications of developing dynamic capabilities for operational reconfiguration in organisations with projects and asset management units.

In Production Planning & Control (PPC) journal
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Dr Eleni Papadonikolaki
Associate Professor in Management of Engineering Projects

Researcher and consultant at the intersection of management and digital economy