Archive for the ‘Theory’ Category

No Project is an Island (Engwall, 2003)

Mittwoch, Juli 9th, 2008

No Project is an Island

Engwall, Mats: No project is an island – linking projects to history and context; in: Research Policy, Vol. 32 (2003), No. 5, pp. 789-808.

I read this article for it’s research implications. Engwall starts with the argument that a project’s success is not independent of the project’s context and the organisations history of previous projects. There is one great point in his argument: Projects become increasingly difficult if they are innovative. BUT innovativeness of a project does not depend whether the project manager has done something similar before, it depends on how new the sponsor thinks his project is.

Engwall’s implications are clear: extend the scope of research time wise and department wise. Furthermore he makes his stand for an open systems approach in researching projects.

Rethinking Project Management: Researching the actuality of projects (Cicmil et al. 2006)

Dienstag, Juli 8th, 2008

Rethinking PM

Svetlana Cicmil, Svetlana; Williams, Terry; Thomas, Janice; Hodgson, Damian: Rethinking Project Management – Researching the actuality of projects; in: International Journal of Project Management, Vol. 24 (2006), No. 8, pp. 675-686

Cicmil et al. describe their idea for the future direction of project management research. The authors outline 3 ideas they had in mind when thinking about project management. (1) projects are complex social settings loaded with conflicts, (2) project management practice is a social conduct, (3) Heidegger’s Da-Sein.  With this starting point Cicmil et al. describe their methodological considerations which are rooted in pragmatic epistemology. They argue that in this tradition non-quantitative research can build epistemic theories.

Moreover Cicmil et al. outline quality criteria/standards for Actuality Research. It needs to fulfil practical reasoning, sense-making and thus it can explain hard to quantify concepts of emotions, power, tensions, negotiations, and political agendas. Finally they highlight topics for future research which are suited to be explored using an Actuality Research approach.

Revisiting the Implementation Metaphor (Borum & Christiansen 2006)

Dienstag, Juli 8th, 2008

Theoretical Basis of PM

Borum, Finn; Christiansen, John: Revisiting the implementation metaphor–a comment on “Actors and structure in IS Projects: What makes implementation happen?“, in: Scandinavian Journal of Management; Vol. 22 (2006), No. 3, pp. 238-242.

Borum & Christiansen outline which concepts of organisation research they found in their previously published case study research. Somehow Project Management Research seems to be a bit behind the mainstream areas of administration, economics, or organisational research. However Borum & Christiansen provide a comprehensive list of Organisation Theories which conceptualise project behaviour:

  • Neo-Institutional Theory (structure vs. process)
  • Network Theory (actors and dynamic networks)
  • Social constructivism (social fabrics everywhere)
  • Structuration theory (dichotomies everywhere + structure is created by repetition of behaviour)
  • Cultural perspectives on organisations (integrate-differentiate-fragment)
  • Case Study Research (micro processes)