Politicized projects: Schedule modification as a tool for coordination between temporary interventions and long-term policies at an aid agency

Anna Krohwinkel-Karlsson


This paper aims to contribute to the general discussions within organization theory about a multi-level/contextualized approach to the study of project performance, while at the same time speaking to the emerging interest in projectified politics. The introduction of temporary economic incentives to reach specific goals is often described as a novel form of organizing (national) public policy. Yet, a related project form for stimulating change and development has since long been of frequent use in international policy settings – notably that of development aid. Project-based organizing assumes that the imposition of deadlines and management towards completion enables objectives to be reached more efficiently and effectively. Why, then, is it so common for projects to run overtime? Most previous studies concerning delays have focused on the complexities associated with the implementation of distinct project assignments. This study expands the lens to the organizational context in which projects are embedded. It hypothesizes that the priority of a project in relation to the longer-term goals and strategies of a multi-project organization is central for understanding project outcomes. The argument is tested with respect to the influence of policy frameworks and political agendas on the timeliness of aid projects funded through a public agency.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413