Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search


Williams, Terry M.



Knut Samset

Gro Holst Volden


Projects are the key organisational form used to deliver transformational policy change and build new systems in the public sector. Traditional thinking has looked at the project as an exercise to carry out a defined task in a specific time, at a specific cost. The ‘paradox of the significance of front-end management’ describes how less effort is spent identifying the best conceptual solution than on estimating and improving performance against tactical success factors. There is plenty of advice and guidance for public decision-maker, but actual practice appears not to be so simple. As Samset and Volden showed a few years ago, there seemed to be a number of curious ‘paradoxes’ causing projects to be launched in ways that were later seen as not of the best. Some aspects are incorrect behaviours that need to be understood and avoided. Some, however, need to be understood and managed as paradoxes, as argued in emerging paradox theories such as Schad et al. 2016.


Williams, T. M. (2022). Conclusions. In T. M. Williams, K. Samset, & G. Holst Volden (Eds.), The Front-end of Large Public Projects: Paradoxes and Ways Ahead (191-204). Taylor & Francis (Routledge).

Publication Date 2022
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2022
Publicly Available Date Dec 9, 2022
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 191-204
Book Title The Front-end of Large Public Projects: Paradoxes and Ways Ahead
Chapter Number 8
ISBN 9781000609547; 9781032189727
Public URL


Published chapter (229 Kb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
© 2022 selection and editorial matter, Terry M. Williams, Knut<br /> Samset and Gro Holst Volden; individual chapters, the contributors.<br /> <br /> The right of Terry M. Williams, Knut Samset and Gro Holst Volden to<br /> be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors<br /> for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with<br /> sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations