Matching of resources and the design of organisations for project management

Scott W. Cunningham, Jill H. Slinger

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This paper addresses a problem common to many high-technology firms. How can firms select and resource appropriate projects while balancing the needs of management as well as technologists? We argue that such problems result in social dilemmas for organizations, requiring practical institutional designs for management and resolution. We relate this project resourcing problem to the well-known “problem of stable marriage.”Both material as well as knowledge-based resources are needed for project success. The formalization of the problem affords us to borrow existing theorems from the literature on matching. We conclude that the potential for social dilemmas inside the firm are fairly severe, directing institutional solutions into a relatively narrow set of choices for project selection and resourcing. We relate efficient outcomes of project resource matching to several well-known organizational forms including the functional form, the project matrix, and the project-based organization. The paper concludes that, while efficient, the project matrix organization pays a heavy cost for its compromise.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Engineering Asset Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • project management
  • resource allocation
  • organizational design

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