Purpose – In this paper we will deal with knowledge integration in projects, focusing on teams that deal with exploitative nature of knowledge work and implement standard solutions with minor refinements developed over time. In our research we analysed how the organizational control mechanisms adopted within project teams that deal with exploitative nature of knowledge work influence knowledge integration outcomes.
Design/methodology/approach – The research unfolded considering a single case study, as this approach was considered useful in gaining in-depth, holistic understanding of the phenomenon studied. We departed with a preliminary on-site observation done with the aim of making subsequent interviews simpler and more productive. We therefore conducted semi-structured interviews with the Head of Human Resources and with 2 Project managers and 4 members of two project teams.
Findings – Our results show how in coherence with Grant’s classification (1996) it is possible to argue that in this context the main control mechanism to integrate knowledge is provided by different forms of standardization. In the case of the company under investigation, formal control mechanisms based on a calculative approach are seen as a way to rule out the process of product delivery and enable effective knowledge integration by clarifying tasks and responsibilities.
Originality/value – Our paper witnesses that, in exploitative project teams, formal control mechanisms may play the role of administering information exchange in order to achieve projects outcome and the desired level of knowledge integration.
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