Ecosystems approach in the management of megaprojects

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionProfessional


Megaprojects have unique characteristics that challenge the traditional approaches of how projects are managed. We study the management of megaprojects in their early phases, by theorizing on the ecosystems literature. Our empirical case is Tapiola project, a megaproject with the final purpose to renew the Tapiola district in the City of Espoo, in Finland. The project developed from renewal of facades of three buildings into a city center-wide regeneration plan integrating and involving multiple private and public actors and technical sub-systems such as metro, bus station, commercial center, and residential building investments in total over 3 billion euros. The evolution of the megaproject featured some key characteristics of platform ecosystems. We look at the management in the planning phase from a focal public organization’s – City of Espoo’s – perspective, while we acknowledge that in a continuously evolving network of multiple independent organizations, any single organization has a limited ability to influence other organizations in the network. Our research question is: How a focal organization in a megaproject can trigger the
development of the project outcome toward a multi-actor platform? The findings
comprise four propositions about the management of megaprojects. We suggest that instead of seeing planning phase as a constellation for designing a complex and multifaceted outcome, its value is more in its role as developing a platform ecosystem, which enhances materialization of various innovations and value-creation logics through interactions with megaproject’s broader environment. A focal organization through rather subtle and indirect management activities can facilitate the evolvement of the ecosystem in megaproject planning phase and initiate the development of a vivid innovation platform among other ecosystem participants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th Engineering Project Organization Conference with 5th International Megaprojects Workshop, Stanford Sierra Camp, California, June 5-7, 2017
EditorsAshwin Mahalingam, Tripp Shealy, Nuno Gil
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2017
MoE publication typeD3 Professional conference proceedings
EventEngineering Project Organization Conference - Lake Tahoe, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 20177 Jun 2017
Conference number: 15


ConferenceEngineering Project Organization Conference
Abbreviated titleEPOC
CountryUnited States
CityLake Tahoe
Internet address


  • Megaproject
  • Network
  • Ecosystem
  • Complex system
  • Innovation platform

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  • Cite this

    Peltokorpi, A., Lehtinen, J., Artto, K., & Rajala, R. (2017). Ecosystems approach in the management of megaprojects. In A. Mahalingam, T. Shealy, & N. Gil (Eds.), 15th Engineering Project Organization Conference with 5th International Megaprojects Workshop, Stanford Sierra Camp, California, June 5-7, 2017 (pp. 1-24). EPOS.