Learning to collaborate in multi-organizational projects

A.S. Leufkens, N.G. Noorderhaven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Behavior in multi-organizational projects has the characteristics of a social dilemma. In a social dilemma parties choose between the non-cooperative strategy of pursuing their own interests and the cooperative strategy of pursuing the collective interests. All parties are better off when they all cooperate than if they all defect, but individually they are better off if they defect. The possibility to realize a collaboration strategy depends on how those involved in the project define their interests. We propose that these interests are socially constructed. In an empirical study of multi-organizational projects in the Dutch shipbuilding industry we inductively explore the relationships between social constructions of interests and the capability to learn to collaborate more effectively. By identifying mechanisms at both the organizational and the project level our study makes a first step towards the articulation of a theory of social construction of interests in the context of multi-organizational projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-441
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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