Chi, S F S and Javernick-Will, A (2011) Institutional effects on project arrangement: high-speed rail projects in China and Taiwan. Construction Management and Economics, 29(6), 596-611.
This paper is available for free download until 31 October 2011.
Abstract: Previous studies recognize institutional impacts on the arrangement of large infrastructure projects but they have not analysed the process by which a host country’s institutions shape infrastructure projects. Institutional theory was applied as an analytical lens to identify different effects of regulatory, normative and cultural institutions on project arrangements. A cross-case comparative study of high-speed rail projects in China and Taiwan was conducted to investigate the processes through which political cultures and industrial structures determined the decisions for project arrangements, including delivery method, financing, participants’ roles, the degree of private and foreign participation, and organization. Longitudinal archival methods combined with exploratory case studies were employed to examine project decisions by analysing government regulations, official publications, news articles, project documents and 20 interviews. A conceptual model was presented to integrate the findings. The political culture in each host country defines the political goals and legitimate approaches of large infrastructure projects, while industrial structure limits feasible alternatives for project arrangements. Collectively, they shape project arrangements and largely dictate the roles played by the government, private enterprises and foreign actors.