Rethinking Project Management: Researching the actuality of projects

Svetlana Cicmil, Terry Williams, Janice Thomas, Damian Hodgson

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    450 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper puts forth the somewhat controversial position that what is needed to improve project management in practice is not more research on what should be done or the frequency and/or use of traditional project management practices. We argue that while a great deal is written about traditional project management we know very little about the "actuality" of project based working and management. This paper formulates a research approach that takes seriously practitioner's lived experience of projects. We explore the ontological, epistemological and methodological assumptions underlying this kind of research and provide examples of some project management research originating from this perspective. We conclude by summarizing the findings from these studies and providing insights into the map ahead for future such research. In this kind of work the attention is refocused on praxis, on context-dependent judgement, on situational ethics and on reflexivity which enables social actors to see how power actually functions in context.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)675-686
    Number of pages12
    JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
    Volume24
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov. 2006

    Keywords

    • Actuality
    • Practice
    • Project management
    • Rationality

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