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Mobilizing the Temporary Organization: The Governance Roles of Selection and Pricing

Mobilizing the Temporary Organization: The Governance Roles of Selection and Pricing

Elham Ghazimatin, Erik A. Mooi and Jan B. Heide

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A lot of marketing activity is embedded in projects. Yet, managing a large set of suppliers or subcontractors is an enormously difficult task in a project context where parties often have not worked together, lack shared understanding or rules, and where there is a great need to get up to speed quickly. These slides discuss how value can be generated through projects.

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Related Marketing Courses: ​
Business-to-Business Marketing; Marketing Strategy; Pricing​​​​

Full Citation: ​
Ghazimatin, Elham, Erik A. Mooi, and Jan B. Heide (2020) “Mobilizing the Temporary Organization: The Governance Roles of Selection and Pricing”, Journal of Marketing,

Article Abstract
Many marketing transactions between buyers and suppliers involve short-term collaborations or so-called temporary organizations. Such organizations have considerable value-creation potential, but also face challenges, as evidenced by their mixed performance records. One particular challenge involves relationship governance, and in this respect, temporary organizations represent a conundrum: On the one hand, they pose significant governance problems, due to the need to manage numerous independent specialists under time constraints. At the same time, temporary organizations lack the inherent governance properties of other organizational forms like permanent organizations. The authors conduct an empirical study of 429 business-to-business (B2B) construction projects designed to answer two specific questions: First, how are particular selection and pricing strategies deployed in response to monitoring and coordination problems? Second, does the joint alignment between the two mechanisms and their respective attributes help mitigate cost overruns? The authors follow up the formal hypotheses tests with a series of in-depth interviews to explore and to gain insight into the validity of the key constructs, explanatory mechanisms, and outcomes. Managerially, the authors answer the long-standing question of how to mobilize a temporary organization. Theoretically, they develop an augmented “discriminating alignment” heuristic for relationship management involving multiple governance mechanisms and attributes


Special thanks to Demi Oba and Holly Howe, Ph.D. candidates at Duke University, for their support in working with authors on submissions to this program.

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Elham Ghazimatin is Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Stavanger, Norway.

Erik A. Mooi is Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Melbourne, Australia.

Jan B. Heide is Irwin Maier Chair in Marketing, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia; and Fellow in Marketing, University of Cambridge, UK.