Do steering committees and boards constitute good project governance?

McGrath, S. K. and Whitty, S. J. (2013) Do steering committees and boards constitute good project governance? In: 10th Annual Project Management Australia Conference (PMOz 2013): Projects Driving and Sustaining the Future of the Australian Economy, 17-18 Sep 2013, Melbourne, Australia.

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One could argue that good project governance positively influences productivity, and that this shapes the economy in a sustainable way. However, there is a prevailing perception in the corporate and government environment that steering committees and boards in some way constitutes good project governance. This perception appears to be based in part upon the presumption that the corporate sector always performs better than government; the corporate sector assures good corporate governance through boards; Ergo
everyone else, including government, would perform better if they did the same.
The paper argues that this presumption is indefensible as there is no scientific or rational basis to support it. Moreover, the concept of governance as steering committees and boards can diffuse responsibility and accountability in the hierarchical structures of government departments and large organisations that initiate their own projects and this can lead to project delay, confusion and uncertainty. The paper reviews the literature on governance and project steering committees and concludes that establishing project advisory rather than steering committees removes the potential for organisational power play and provides an effective consultation mechanism that facilitates 'best for project' outcomes.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source. Not yet published.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2013 23:19
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2015 01:31
Uncontrolled Keywords: project governance; project steering committee; project advisory committee; project board; committee decision tree
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150303 Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
12 Built Environment and Design > 1202 Building > 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9402 Government and Politics > 940299 Government and Politics not elsewhere classified

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