Project-Based Organizations The right configuration

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This thesis answers the research question ‘How do the configurations of internal structure and external focus of project-based organizations impact financial performance?’. This question is asked and answered in order to contribute to the development of the theories in relation to project-based organizations by explicitly including performance as well as applying the Neo-Configurational Perspective (NCP). The NCP allows a holistic, set-theoretic analysis of the configurations. This means that it is the sum of the parts, the whole configuration that is being studied, in stead of a more traditional regression analysis that considers each variables’ influence either independently or with interaction effects. The theoretical basis of these sets is primarily based upon the work of Whitley (2006) and Manning and Sydow (2011). The data, which is drawn from the yearly survey of the members of the Branchevereniging Nederlandse Architecten, is calibrated and prepared for analysis using Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA), The analysis in this thesis shows that there are four configurations that consistently lead to high performance. These configurations were named Large Flexible Builders (1), Small Architect Dominated Firms (2), Large Stable Builders (3) and Flexible Middle-sized Bureaus (4). These four configurations were shown to be mostly robust, though the third configuration failed one robustness check. By answering this research question this thesis could be valuable to further research into more prescriptive areas like how to (change the) structure of PBOs under certain conditions and more theory development on what types of PBOs exist in the empirical reality.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen