Project Management Institute

Projects in a Global World

Bridging Project Management and International Business

Guest Editors:

Sihem Ben Mahmoud-Jouini HEC-Paris

Christophe Midler CRG-I3, École Polytechnique, CNRS

Fredrik Tell Uppsala University

The internationalization of projects is not a new topic in the project management literature. International projects happen within multinational corporations, multinational consortia, or joint ventures. Many researchers have already tackled the challenges that projects have to handle in such a context, characterized by features such as high complexity (Yang, Kherbachi, Hong, & Shan, 2015); multiculturality within teams (Henderson, Stackman, & Lindekilde, 2018); cooperation (Egginton, 1996; Konieczny & Petrick, 1994); coordination (Hosseni & Chileshe, 2013); risk (Kardes, Ozturk, Cavusgil, & Cavusgil, 2013); and stakeholder management (Aaltonen & Sivonen, 2009).

Although these issues have been covered at the project level in the project management literature, the relations between the projects and the permanent organizations that implement them are far less studied. With the growing projectification of firms (Schoper, Wald, Ingason, & Friðgeirsson, 2018), however, temporary and permanent organizations are becoming more and more related (Bakker, DeFillippi, Schwab, & Sydow, 2016). This special issue focuses on such relations in the context of business globalization.

These relations merit study for the following two reasons:

  • From the permanent organization to the projects: On one hand, innovation management at the global level is a growing phenomenon (Ben Mahmoud-Jouini, Burger-Helchen, Charue-Duboc, & Doz, 2015), resulting in challenges such as a more internationalized R&D footprint (Gassman & Von Zedwitch, 1999), specific innovation processes (such as transnational and meta-national models [Bartlett & Ghoshal, 1989; Doz, Santos, & Williamson, 2001]; Meyer, Mudambi, & Narula, 2011). These challenges will affect project management, in particular as the globalization of business may emanate in more internationalized projects. However, there is a lack of research using a project management perspective on innovation management at the global level (Doz & Wilson, 2012).
  • From the projects to the permanent organization: On the other hand, international projects can be a learning process by which firms extend their reach to new markets and resources and, from one project to another, become global and transform their permanent organization (Brady & Davies, 2004; Söderlund & Tell, 2013; Midler, 2013; Midler, 2019). As projects can serve as enablers of a firm's globalization, temporary projects become a focal point of attention. In such cases, project management may be a powerful lever to develop and coordinate the globalization of the firm.

This call intends to address these two sides of the related globalization dynamics between projects and the permanent organization in various contexts: from large multinational corporations (Johanson & Vahlne, 2009) to “born global” start-ups (Knight & Liesch, 2016). Moreover, while previous studies have focused mainly on Western organizations, there is now a new breed of emerging market multinationals (CuervoCazurra & Ramamurti, 2014; Fleury & Fleury, 2011). In these emerging markets, little is known about how temporary projects interact with permanent structures in general and, more specifically so, the temporary-permanent dynamics in their rapid internationalization.

We welcome submissions tackling one or more of the following issues:

  • Globalization of the firm and project management
  • Internationalization of innovation processes and project management
  • Knowledge management in the globalized firm and project management
  • Globalization of human resource management and internationalization of projects
  • Innovation, globalization, and projects
  • New modes of organizing global operations in temporary structures
  • International consortia and project-based organizing
  • Emerging market dynamics and project internationalization
  • Digitalization, project management, and the globalization of business International bodies, standardization, and the diffusion of project organizations
  • Deglobalization: Implications for project management
  • And further related…


Full papers must be submitted by 1 October 2020 via the journal submission site. Papers accepted for publication but not included in the special issue will be published later in a regular issue of the journal. If you have any additional questions, please consult one of the guest editors of this special issue:

Author and Reviewer Guidelines

Special issues follow the same guidelines as those for regular articles. We expect the authors and reviewers to react promptly with their revisions and reviews. A special issue is a project with a scheduled deadline. While some variance may arise, timeliness matters more than that in a regular submission.


Aaltonen, K., & Sivonen, R. (2009). Response strategies to stakeholder pressures in global projects. International Journal of Project Management, 27(2), 131–141.

Bakker, R. M., DeFillippi, R. J., Schwab, A., & Sydow, J. (2016). Temporary organizing: Promises, processes, problems. Organization Studies, 37(12), 1703–1719.

Bartlett, C. A., & Ghoshal, S. (1989). Managing across borders: The transnational solution, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Ben Mahmoud-Jouini S., Burger-Helchen T., CharueDuboc F., & Doz Y. (2015). Global organization of innovation process. Management International, 19(4) 112–120.

Brady, T., & Davies, A. (2004). Building project capabilities: From exploratory to exploitative learning. Organization Studies, 25(9), 1601– 1621.

Cuervo-Cazurra, C., & Ramamurti, R. (2014). Understanding multinationals from emerging markets. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press

Doz, Y., Santos, J., & Williamson, P. (2001). From global to metanational: How companies win in the knowledge economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Doz Y., & Wilson, K. (2012). Managing global innovations. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Egginton, B. (1996). Multi-national consortium based projects: Improving the process. International Journal of Project Management, 14(3), 169–172.

Fleury, A., & Fleury, M. (2011). Brazilian multinationals. Competences for internationalization. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Gassmann O., & von Zedtwitz M. (1999). New concepts and trends in international R&D organization. Research Policy, 28(2–3), 231–250.

Henderson, L. S., Stackman, R. W., & Lindekilde, R. (2018). Why cultural intelligence matters on global project teams. International Journal of Project Management, 36(7), 954–967.

Hosseini, M. R., & Chileshe, N. (2013). Global virtual engineering teams (GVETs): A fertile ground for research in Australian construction projects context. International Journal of Project Management, 31(8), 1101–1117.

Johanson, J., & Vahlne, J. E. (2009). The Uppsala internationalization process model revisited: From liability of foreignness to liability of outsidership. Journal of International Business Studies, 40(9), 1411–1431.

Kardes, I., Ozturk, A., Cavusgil, S. T., & Cavusgil, E. (2013). Managing global megaprojects: Complexity and risk management. International Business Review, 22(6), 905–917.

Knight, G. A., & Liesch, P. W. (2016). Internationalization: From incremental to born global. Journal of World Business, 51(1), 93–102.

Konieczny, S. J., & Petrick, J. A. (1994). Project managing: International joint venture projects. Journal of General Management, 19(3), 60–75.

Meyer, K. E., Mudambi, R., & Narula, R. (2011). Multinational enterprises and local contexts: The opportunities and challenges of multiple embeddedness. Journal of Management Studies, 48(2), 235–252.

Midler, C. (2013). Implementing low-end disruption strategy through multi-project lineage management: The Logan Case. Project Management Journal, 44(5), 24–35.

Midler C., (2019). Projectification: The forgotten variable in the internationalization of firms’ innovation processes? International Journal of Managing Project in Business, 12 (3), 545–564.

Schoper, Y., Wald, A., Ingason, H.T. and Friðgeirsson, T.V. (2018). Projectification in Western economies: A comparative study of Germany, Norway and Iceland. International Journal of Project Management, 36, 71–82.

Söderlund, J., & Tell, F. (2011). Knowledge integration in a P-form corporation: Project epochs and the evolution of ASEA/ABB, 1945–2000. In: Berggren, C., Bergek, A., M. Bengtsson, Hobday, L. & J. Söderlund (eds.) (2011) Knowledge integration and innovation: Critical challenges facing international technology-based firms. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Yang, Q., Kherbachi, S., Hong, Y. S., & Shan, C. (2015). Identifying and managing coordination complexity in global product development project. International Journal of Project Management, 33(7), 1464–1475.