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When Major Projects Fail, What Role Does Governance Play?

Puzzle pieces

Major projects are intended to create transformational outcomes. However, despite the extensive time, money and effort invested in them, they sometimes fail.

To find out why, Moses Onyoin (PhD ’20) received a SMRG Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Support Grant in December 2021 to work with Professors Lavagnon Ika and Stephane Tywoniak on a project titled Major project governance, context, and performance: A case study of the Ottawa LRT and the Abuja-Kaduna Rail Line.

Although the importance of governance in major projects is clear, there’s very little research about how governance and context influence the performance of projects, in this case, transport projects.

In this postdoctoral work, Onyoin will analyze the governance of two major projects and the differences between major project governance in the Global NorthMosesOnyoin and the Global South. He will also seek to demonstrate the value of governance for major projects, and the ways governance policies and procedures can facilitate the success of major projects.

In addition to following his research interests at Telfer and contributing to Telfer’s Major Projects Observatory, Onyoin will benefit the school’s Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Strategic Management area of strategic impact.

Onyoin’s academic research is at the intersection of organization theory and public policy, including the governance of inter-organizational collaborations, cross-sectorial and multi-actor partnerships, management of temporary organizations and project-based delivery of public goods and services in diverse sectors and development contexts.

Prior to coming to uOttawa, Onyoin completed a postdoc at Hull University Business School and was a lecturer at the Makerere Business School in Uganda.

His very recent work has been published by SAGE and Emerald in the Journals of Administration and Society and the International Journal of Public Sector Management, respectively.

Congratulations, Moses, on receiving the SMRG Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Support Grant! Your contribution to Telfer is greatly appreciated.