A conceptualization for governance-as-practice is advanced, based on processual and practice studies.•
The research strategy is a multiple-case study of four major public infrastructure projects in Quebec, Canada.•
Results uncover a process of multilevel project governing, as performative practices are enacted.•
The theoretical contribution is to unfold the knowledge articulation process of a project governance framework.•
The practical contribution is to understand governmental practices to gain deeper insights about project governance.
The aim of this article is to advance a conceptualization for governance-as-practice, based on current developing streams of processual and practice studies — strategy-as-practice and project-as-practice. Although project governance has gained recognition as an important object of inquiry, what is actually done by different actors having to manage those projects has been studied much less. This article presents a qualitative research based on a multiple-case study of four major public infrastructure projects in Quebec, Canada. Considering the role of material artefacts in this process, along with organizational change, the results show how projects performative practices were enacted against the ostensive ones, uncovering a process of multilevel project governing. The main contributions are: 1) to unfold the knowledge articulation process of an institutional project governance framework, as it is translated into projects, and 2) to understand and document governmental practices in order to reflect on them and gain deeper insights about project governance.