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Project ownership: implications on success measurement

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Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2008



The purpose of this paper is to discuss measurement of project success in an ownership perspective.


The research is based on a case study of owner structures in 11 projects. For each case, an analysis was made of which stakeholder that held six different roles related to project ownership. Multiple sources of information are used, including archives, interviews and observations.


Results from our study indicate that owner responsibilities are not always concentrated to one individual stakeholder in a project. While a traditional owner can be identified for some projects, it is a more complex picture for many other projects.

Research implications/limitations

This paper has primarily analysed project ownership on a macro level, between organisations. Challenges related to identifying owners can to a certain extent also be found on a micro level, within the most involved organisations, but this has not been the aim of the research.

Practical implications

Measurement of project success in a project owner perspective needs to be adjusted to fit the projects in question. While the question “Who owns a project” is easy to answer in some cases, it requires a more differentiated answer in other cases.


Most literature on project ownership focuses on one owner who has all the characteristics of owner. It is based on one stakeholder who takes the risk related to the cost and future value of the project. Our study shows that owner responsibilities are not necessarily concentrated to one individual stakeholder in a project.


Project Success; Ownership, Stakeholders, Measurement

Link to full paper (Emerald home page)