The governance of knowledge in project-based organizations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This research investigates patterns of knowledge governance practices in project-based organizations (PBOs). Five propositions about knowledge
governance in PBOs were deductively and empirically tested using qualitative data from 82 interviews. The results were triangulated with
those of prior studies. Results indicate that knowledge governance practices in PBOs are impacted by structural and situational factors, such as
being a subsidiary or standalone PBO, a PBO striving for excellence or not, as well as some preconditions, such as the executives' competence
in project governance. The results show that informal governance mechanisms are more useful than formal when it comes to knowledge creating
processes. Governance of informal knowledge creating mechanisms appears to be complex for executives and their preconceptions showed either
to be enablers or barriers to productive knowledge governance practices. Executive's competence and preconditions, concerning aspects like human
capabilities and attitudes to professional ethos, seems to impact knowledge governance strategies. In subsidiary PBOs knowledge governance
provides practitioners with proper assistance to avoid unbeneficial situations of having knowledge silos among loosely coupled islands.


  • Sofia Pemsel
  • Ralf Müller
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Construction Management


  • Knowledge governance, Project-based organizations, Project-oriented organizations, Knowledge management, End-users
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-876
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Publication categoryResearch