There is a widespread acceptance that organising by projects is on the increase. In previous research on the management of projects, the majority of studies have adopted project-centric approaches, downplaying organisation- or company-wide matters even in firms whose performance largely depends on the combined success of multiple projects. In this paper, we focus on the problem of management control and specifically the control modes and control mechanisms used by management in project-intensive R&D units. On the basis of a multiple case study of four R&D units, we suggest a typology of four different kinds of multi-project situations. The typology is based on two dimensions, dependency between projects and project uncertainty. The typology is used to explain differences in management control modes and mechanisms between the firms in our study.
Keywords: projects, project management, MPOs, multi-project organisations, management control, control mode, R&D