Overcoming the principal-agent problem: The need for alignment of tools and methods in collaborative project delivery

Una Obiose Kriston Nwajei*, Trond Bølviken, Magnus Mikael Hellström

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
190 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the focus on collaborative project delivery models (CPDMs) in the construction industry, it remains unclear how it promises bases for delivering better value for money than many traditional models. In view of the importance of knowledge about CPDM delivery, this study aims to explore governance mechanisms that underline the relationship between principal and agent and how this relationship is impacted by the alignment of organisational tools and methods. We argue that there is an interrelationship between agency theory and stewardship theory that provides an important theoretical foundation for CPDMs; additionally, alignment of organisational tools and methods can contribute to overcoming the principal-agent problem in projects if aligned with the functions in CDPMs. An empirical analysis of an exploratory case study supports these assumptions and highlights how CPDM's success can occur through removing and reducing the fundamental principal-agent problem and illustrates the performance and dangers of CPDM tools. Our findings deepen the theoretical understanding of CPDM delivery and provide new insights into the strategic fit in CPDMs alignment in projects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-762
Number of pages762
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Agency theory
  • Collaborative project delivery model
  • Integrated project delivery
  • Principal-agent
  • Stewardship theory
  • Tools


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