The Balance Between Order and Chaos in Multi-project Firms: A Conceptual Model

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This paper studies multi-project firms at the edge of chaos, i.e. the ability of these companies to deal with the coexistence of order and chaos. It specifically defines the edge of chaos for multi-project firms based on the match between complexity of project portfolio and flexibility of its organisational units. It also provides a map to assess this match and mismatch. This map proposes four regions or organisational archetypes: the creative-reflective, the mechanic-structured, chaotification of order and bureaucratisation of chaos. Studies present in the literature illustrate these regions, and their importance to the management of projects and of these companies. The paper concludes by presenting possible applications of the framework and future research.
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Project Management
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)348–356
Antal sider9
StatusUdgivet - 2008
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Multi-project firms
  • Organisational design
  • Complexity
  • Flexibility