تاثیر مدل کسب و کار پروژه تحویل در یک شرکت مبتنی بر پروژه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7823||2013||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 31, Issue 2, February 2013, Pages 166–176
If projects are independent business organizations having goals of their own instead of being direct subordinates to the parent firm, then project-level goals might contradict those of the parent firm. This raises an empirical question on the impact of delivery projects in a project-based firm. We use the business model concept to study the mechanisms of generating revenues in five delivery projects in a case firm from the mining and metallurgical industry. Our findings suggest that although project-level business models are often derived top–down from firm-level business models, projects also create autonomous business models that have a bottom–up effect on the firm by shaping the existing business models or creating completely new ones. These results strengthen the understanding of the dynamic relations between a project-based firm and its delivery projects.
Project-based firms (PBFs) organize most of their internal and external activities in projects (Wikström et al., 2009). Instead of continuous manufacturing or service activities, the business is conducted in temporary organizations established to complete a single specific goal time and again (Lundin and Söderholm, 1995 and Packendorff, 1995). Traditionally, projects are perceived as vehicles for achieving firm-level goals (Morris and Jamieson, 2004 and Shenhar et al., 2007). More recently, suppliers in several project-based industries are facing increasing pressure to tailor their delivery projects according to the specific needs of an individual client (Hobday, 1998). For example, they might combine the physical deliverable with various services such as maintenance and operational support (Kujala et al., 2011 and Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003). Contrary to the traditional view, a project can be seen as an independent business organization in its project-specific environment (Artto et al., 2008, Artto et al., 2009, Artto et al., 2011, Wikström et al., 2009 and Wikström et al., 2010). If delivery projects may vary within one firm, does the traditional view of projects as obedient servants implementing firm-level goals always accurately represent the activities in a PBF? We seek to clarify whether project-level goals are determined by firm-level goals or whether projects actually influence the firm-level goal setting by examining a case firm in the metallurgy industry whose delivery projects vary due to every customer's unique specifications with regard to the ore they seek to refine and the end product they intend to do business with in a historically specific plant site setting. We use the business model concept defined both on the firm and delivery project levels to be able to compare the similarities and differences of goals and ways of operating between the firm and its projects, and across the projects. In a PBF, business models can be found on both the level of the firm and the project (Kujala et al., 2011). But there is a gap in the literature on what the origins of project-level and firm-level business models are. Do project-level business models originate from the firm-level business models applied to the project's business environment? Are business models at project level deployed top–down to realize the firm's business model; or is the relation rather bottom–up? How do project-level business models influence the development of firm-level business models? The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of the role of project-level business models in a PBF. Therefore, we set the following research question: RQ: What is the impact of project-level business models in a project-based firm? In Section 2, we build a theoretical framework for the simultaneous business model concepts at project and firm levels in a PBF. In Section 3, the research methodology design is presented. Section 4 is a case description of the firm and five of its case projects that are chosen for detailed analysis. Section 5 describes the analysis. Finally, Section 6 is a discussion about the results compared with previous research, presenting the conclusions of the study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze the impact of project-level business models in a PBF. We found that two of the project-level business models overlapped with the established firm-level business model, two overlapped with the extended firm-level business model, and one overlapped with neither of the firm-level business models. Fig. 1 shows our findings. First, our findings support the traditional view that firm-level business models dictate project-level business models i.e. suggesting but not explicitly confirming the direct top–down effect of the PBF. This is in line with the view of projects being direct subordinates of the PBF's strategy (Morris and Jamieson, 2004 and Shenhar et al., 2007). Following the nomenclature of Linder and Cantrell (2001), there were two distinct business models on the firm-level: an established one and a newer extended one. Together the firm-level business models represented behavior which is guided from above by the firm's current concept of strategy as suggested by Burgelman, 1983a and Burgelman, 1983b. The two firm-level business models deployed exploitation (established business model) and exploration (extended business model) simultaneously, which is common for mature firms looking for new business areas according to Sabatier et al. (2010). We agree with scholars who consider that firms can use projects as top–down tools for both intentional exploration and exploitation (Brady and Davies, 2004, Morris and Jamieson, 2004 and Shenhar et al., 2007). Second, we found that one project-level business model was fairly autonomously emerging from outside the boundaries of the two firm-level business models, suggesting that the top–down effect of the PBF on this project is unlikely. Due to its turnkey nature, project Violet introduced a new business model that could have a bottom–up effect on the firm-level by shaping the existing business models or creating completely new ways of doing business through autonomous project-level business models. This finding contradicts the traditional view on projects, and suggests, similar to Artto et al. (2008) that projects are temporary, independent organizations with self-established goals and business models. The history of Velvet also tells that the current established firm-level business model had once emerged through an autonomous project-level business model at the early stages of the firm. In the past, the firm only sold the license to a metallurgy process, but a proactive salesperson decided to couple the license with engineering. The project resulted in a new, broader business which is the basis for Velvet's operations today. Project Violet received a lot of interest in the company and some early signs show that it might well create a new firm-level business model. Soon after the project was completed, the company acquired a company specialized in construction work, signaling that there is increasing interest in taking responsibility associated with turnkey deliveries. We suggest that projects with autonomous, bottom–up business models might be just as important for the firm as the ones derived from firm-level. Due to the dominant logic (Siggelkow, 2001) and the corporate structure of a firm (Burgelman, 1983a and Burgelman, 1983b), these kinds of business models are however easily overlooked, especially if they are in conflict with the existing ones. To conclude, we suggest that autonomous project-level business models emerge that can significantly shape the way a firm does business in spite of the fact that project-level business models are often derived from the firm-level business models. The study contributes to the business model literature by describing the interrelations of multi-level embedded business models. The understanding of the logic and dynamics of a PBF is strengthened by stating that a project-based firm's business models do not only form intentionally top -down, but also unintentionally due to project-level business models' bottom -up impact. Thus, the study contributes to the business model literature by describing the interrelations of multi-level embedded business models. The study has important managerial implications related to managing multiple business models on firm and project levels. While managers are used to utilizing project-level business models as top–down tools to both exploit and explore the existing firm-level business models, they should be careful that those intentional business models do not restrict unintentional and autonomous business model development happening in projects due to their unique nature and environment. Instead, this development could be used for altering the existing firm-level business models or creating completely new ones. Autonomous project-level business models can signal for example a change in customer needs and in this way support the company to be more alert and agile to respond to potential changes in the marketplace. Our study has several limitations. First, the firm was regarded as an independent PBF. However, it is part of a larger corporation, and therefore the perspective of the holding company is missing from the study. This might create some bias as both the corporation and the other firms might affect the business models in Velvet. Second, even though the case projects were of high variety, they do not necessarily provide a comprehensive picture about the business logic of a project-based firm and might exclude some aspects related to the business model of Velvet. Based on our research, further studies are warranted. First, the study examines how the project-level business models affect the firm-level business models. It could be beneficial to understand, how the firm-level business models affect the dynamics of project-level business models. Second, the study describes the complex business logic of a project-based firm, which is composed of many business models on different levels. An assumption was made that business models reside at the firm level or at the project level. However, business models might be composed of elements on many different levels and in many different units (projects, firms, corporations, other firms). Therefore, business model research should not be restricted to the boundaries of various organizational entities. Instead, in the future the focus could be on understanding how these cross-boundary business models affect the business logic of a PBF.