The project world is plagued with the interest and influence of diverse stakeholders shaping major project policy strategies. From deception, strategic manipulation to illusions of control, stakeholders using power and any other means to influence project strategies to achieve their desired ends: the tribalism and Machiavellianism of the project world. Governing tribalism or Machiavellianism especially at the front-end of projects is absolutely essential for project policy success. But how does a project manager shape a major project policy into success? The purpose of this research is to investigate tribalism and Machiavellianism and implement the necessary governance mechanisms to shape the implementation of project policies to optimize its success. This requires a deep understanding of human relational behavior. A case study approach was adopted that investigated Australia’s largest infrastructure program in history, the AUD $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution (BER) program, which was plagued with power and politics and Machiavellianism of the project world. Factors such as collective institutional leadership with formal and informal governance mechanisms in rationalizing decisions were identified as essential aspects from the case study. It was also revealed that if the factors are implemented at the front-end of project policies and managed appropriately it could significantly limit the potentness of the tribal or Machiavelli plague and optimize the chances of project policy success.
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