This article contributes to engineering project research by studying how projects relate to their surrounding context. The article presents a framework for the analysis of workflow interdependencies in a project that is situated in a business ecosystem. The analysis is used to reduce costly conflicts in the business ecosystem, and the framework shows how the project is positively impacted by the resolution of those conflicts. The framework elaborates James Thompson’s notion of pooled, sequential and reciprocal interdependence and distinguishes between compatible-reciprocal and contentious-reciprocal interdependencies. The relationship between interdependence types and their corresponding coordination and governance mechanisms, originally posited for interdependence between tasks and groups within a single organization, applies equally well to interdependence types and governance mechanisms across firm boundaries within a business ecosystem. We analyze a cargo vessel development project within the short sea logistics business ecosystem to illustrate how the proposed framework can remove unproductive workflow conflicts and enhance value creation.
- Business ecosystem
- project management