Big construction projects : A space for control and care
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionIermolenko, O. (2021). Big construction projects: A space for control and care. The Nordic Journal of Business, 70(4), 264-286.
There are significant differences in how project managers are recommended to engage in control in big projects that are strictly limited in time, scope, and costs, and how managers actually do that in practice. How care is implicated in control in large-scale construction projects, subject to overruns and uncertainties, is rarely discussed. The experiences in controlling and care-giving of key people involved in the construction of two complex projects in Norway and Ukraine are analyzed. The findings reveal that control and care play similar roles in the projects, lthough their nature and forms differ significantly. Being emotionally charged, care complements control efforts by enhancing trust, empathy, help, lenience in judgment, and courage among project participants – important aspects that traditional controls alone can rarely reach. Projects themselves, not only people involved in them, become objects of care, and managers should strive to balance between ‘care for people’ and ‘care for projects’.