Prior and governed stakeholder relationships: The key to resilience of inter-organizational projects

Xiaotian Yang, Linzhuo Wang*, Fangwei Zhu, Ralf Müller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Increasingly, scholars are recognising the importance of resilience in projects. However, there is a lack of research on the resilience of temporary inter-organisational projects while considering the intricate relationship among multiple stakeholder organisations. We conducted an embedded comparative case study to investigate the mechanisms how stakeholder relationships involving prior ties and inter-organisational governance in the project support its resilience. Our results show that few prior ties among stakeholders keep them vigilant, fostering the readiness and preparedness for resilience, while many prior ties keep social solidarity among stakeholders, fostering the response and recovery for resilience. Contractual and relational governance improves resilience by clarifying stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities and forming collective cognition, respectively. We believe a plural governance design based on prior ties among stakeholders will improve resilience of the inter-organisational project, by promoting dynamically distributed and centralised stakeholder engagement in preparing, responding and recovering from the unexpected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-75
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan


  • Inter-organisational projects
  • Prior ties
  • Project governance
  • Resilience
  • Stakeholder relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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