Dr. Eskerod in numerous Roles at EURAM 2017

At this year’s European Academy of Management (EURAM) research conference in Glasgow, Scotland, 21-24 June 2017, prof. Dr. Pernille Eskerod served in numerous roles. As a Strategic Interest Group (SIG) board member for the SIG on Project Organising she was appointed as the program manager of the SIG. That included communications with authors, presenters and role takers from all over the world before and during the intensive conference days. At the Doctoral Colloquium, she presented the SIG and its activities in a panel presentation. At the SIG kick-off meeting as well as a roundtable session in Glasgow she acted as a moderator. In addition she presented the conference paper “Increasing Project Benefits by Project Opportunity Exploitation – Investigating a Landmark Megaproject”. The paper was written together with Karyne Ang, Sydney, and Erling S. Andersen, Oslo.

Abstract

Per definition, megaprojects consume numerous resources and impact numerous people, even across generations. It is therefore important that they bring excessive benefits to their stakeholders and to the society at large. The concept ‘Project Opportunity’ is of growing interest within project management research. The idea is that exploitation of project opportunities may bring more benefits than stipulated in the initial business case and even stakeholder benefits that nobody thought of at the project initiation. In this paper we encourage a new research area for megaprojects, i.e. the phenomenon of project opportunity exploitation as a means to increasing project benefits.
 
The paper is based on a single case study of an infrastructure megaproject, i.e. the construction and operation of a 50+ years old American bridge. To investigate project opportunity exploitation during the project execution and operation data covering 60+ years was been collected, e.g. historical documents, newspaper articles, interviews, and video-recordings. Some interviewees were involved in the bridge construction – and can draw on an almost lifelong memory of the bridge’s significance.
 
The research indicates that (1) Exploiting all opportunities created by the project and increasing project benefits require involvement from many categories of stakeholders; (2) Stakeholders get more involved in exploiting the opportunities created by the project when they are proud of the project; (3) For some of the project-related opportunities, it might take a long time before they can be exploited (and related benefits achieved); and (4) Celebrating achievements of the project stimulate stakeholders to exploit opportunities created by the project and contribute to further benefits of the project. In terms of managerial implications, the findings point to the necessity of continuous communication about the project from the project owner (team), also after the project execution phase, in order to enhance project opportunity exploitation and increased benefits.

Keywords

megaproject, project benefits, project opportunity, stakeholders, landmark project, project history, transformational

Reference

Eskerod, P., Ang, K. & Andersen, E.S. (2017). Increasing Project Benefits by Project Opportunity Exploitation – Investigating a Landmark Megaproject, in Proceedings of the 17th Annual EURAM Conference: Making Knowledge Work, European Academy of Management, Glasgow, 21-24 June, Scotland.
 
EURAM SIG on Project Organising: http://euramonline.org/po.html