Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2015
Johtaminen ja organisaatiot
Master's Degree Programme in Strategic Management
The main object of the study is to find out: what kind of relational aspects and business practices project business relationships encompass and how are these relational aspects connected to a business or project performance? In order to answer this research question, it was necessary to find a comprehensive set of articles and analyse them thoroughly. Thus, it was logical to choose a research method that combined the best aspects of qualitative and quantitative methods. The research was simultaneously descriptive and explanatory, as it did not only describe the causal mechanism between inter-firm actions and the outcome, but also explained how the causal mechanism actually functioned.
The data used in this thesis has been collected from the SciVerse Scopus, an academic database. Scopus was a logical choice as its’ massive data library guaranteed that all the relevant articles concerning inter-firm collaboration could be taken into account. Articles were sought on the basis of their title, abstract and keywords by using several keyword combinations. Project business was a conscious choice, as the literature has not focused specifically on the project business side, thus it was possible to complement existing literature by analysing relational practices in this specific area.
There are two main findings from this study. First of all, in most of the cases, relational action had either a direct or indirect positive effect on performance. Effectiveness in turn is dependent on the quality of the relational actions. Another important finding was that certain relational actions foster multiple outcomes and relational behavior might even produce unintentionally value gains for collaborating companies. More importantly, the causality between relational behavior and increased project business performance exists, although the effectiveness of relational actions varies between projects.
Inter-firm relationship; Relational behavior; Project business; Partnership