Definitely Not a Walk in the Park: Coping with Competing Values in Complex Project Networks

Lizet Kuitert*, Leentje Volker, Marleen H. Hermans

*Corresponding author for this work

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Complex project networks confront project actors, with value pluralism originating from a plethora of competing organizational and institutional systems related to the project environment. Using a single urban redevelopment case study, we present a dynamic understanding of the emergence and nature of conflicts in different conflict arenas of collaborative project networks. We identify seven coping patterns to reduce and engage with this complexity in the process of delivering value throughout projects. The coping patterns enable a more dynamic and flexible approach toward conflict management in project networks with a high degree of conflicting project interests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-34
Number of pages16
JournalProject Management Journal
Issue number1
Early online date22 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • complexity
  • conflict arenas
  • conflict management
  • patterns of coping
  • project network governance
  • public value conflicts
  • urban projects


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