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In this paper we analyze the role and the structure of steering committees for the management of projects. The impact of steering committees on the single project is not well understood. To date only few studies analyze steering committees and their focus is on understanding the organizational effectiveness rather than their effect on the single project level. In two in depth cases studies we analyze the configuration and the specific functions of steering committees. In both organizations steering committees play an important role in the selection and initiation, definition and control of projects. In many interviews, project managers perceived the existence of a project steering committee only when the context was defined and clarified in terms of what it meant to be a committee. This may answer the question why project steering committees were not directly analyzed.