Megaproject Organization and Performance


Book Title:    Megaproject Organization and Performance: The Myth and Political Reality
Author: Nuno Gil; Colm Lundrigan; Jeffery K. Pinto; Phanish Puranam
Publisher: Project Management Institute, Inc.
List Price: $34.95
Format: Soft cover, 170 pages
Publication Date: 2017      
ISBN: 978-1-62825-176-0
Reviewer: Mark J. Loiselle
Review Date: April 2018



This book sheds light on a seldom encountered job opportunity; The MEGAPROJECT. Few project managers are ever afforded the opportunity to manage a megaproject, let alone play a small part as maybe a PM assistant or a Project Manager for one of the secondary or even tertiary players. MEGAPROJECT outlines, from start to finish, high points and low points (and all the in-betweens) of the Project Management process. The very beginning of the megaproject is a GRAND idea described between 2 or 3 people. If it has merit, it can grow into a conglomeration of political figures, financial backers, real estate developers, geographic planning and design experts, suppliers, contractors and the general public.

The book is a 3 year study on megaprojects, project based organizations formed for the sole purpose of developing capital intensive,  large-scale infrastructure systems. The authors intend to show that megaprojects act at Meta-Organizations, a group of independent actors collaborating under an identifiable system-level goal. The megaproject is divided into 2 parts, the CORE and the PERIPHERY. Core members control strategic choices for the project, whether political, financial, regulatory power, knowledge of need and land. The periphery is the group of suppliers and ancillary players needed to complete the project.

Overview of Book’s Structure

The book provides good background material and numerous citations, indicating a well researched report.

Chapter 1 describes the process the authors are using to defend and prove their hypothesis. They describe in detail the core of the megaproject,  or the organizational structure that defines the megaproject. They describe the periphery as a vast supply chain providing knowledge and labor for the project.

This study focuses on 4 multi-year and multi-billion pound projects undertaken in the United Kingdom.

  • Crossrail rail project; a high capacity train connecting the east and west ends of London.
  • High Speed 2 railway; a national high speed railway network meant to increase rail traffic between London and the northern regions of the U. K.
  • London 2012 Olympic Park; an infrastructure project to host the 2012 Olympics.
  • Heathrow T2; a project to develop a new terminal campus at Heathrow Airport.

The study also examines megaprojects in developing economies as well, to look for similarities or differences from projects in developed countries.


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About the Reviewer

Mark J. Loiselle

San Antonio, TX, USA



Mark Loiselle
has over twenty years of construction experience and is a certified Project Management Professional.  Prior to joining the City of San Antonio as a Capital Projects Officer in 2011, he had worked as Project Manager for several companies including LGI Homes, Lord and Taylor Department Stores and Barry Better Menswear. Since joining the San Antonio Public Library system, he has been working in capital projects and facilities management, including the opening of 3 Branch Libraries and numerous renovation projects at 30 locations. Mr. Loiselle earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from Lawrence Tech University and his Master’s Degree, with honors, in Management from Walsh College.  He can be contacted at [email protected]


Editor’s note:  Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of a partnership between the publisher, PM World and the Alamo PMI Chapter in San Antonio, Texas. Authors and publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Alamo Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI Alamo Chapter members can keep the books as well as claim PDUs for PMP recertification when their reviews are published.  PMI members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.   

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