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Comments on challenging the rational project environment The legacy and impact of Christensen and Kreiner's Projektledning i en ofulständig värld

Comments on challenging the rational project environment The legacy and impact of Christensen and... Purpose – Kristian Kreiner is one of the co‐authors of Projektledning i en ofulständig värld . The purpose of this paper (commentary) is to reiterate and update a few of the fundamental tenets on which the original text was based. The purpose is also to argue that the need to challenge conventional project management thinking is still pressing today. Design/methodology/approach – This commentary highlights two ideas and makes one plea for future research. Findings – Project managers must bridge two notions of a project: one focussing on some desired future state which can guide current, contingent action, and the other one focussing on the conscious design and planning of social action to enable efficient, collaborative achievements. In practice, project managers face a dilemma in having to encourage both behavioural flexibility (adaptability) and behavioural rigidity (discipline). Secondly, project managers face conditions of complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Conventionally, such conditions are made to signal poor project management, but they are often managerial premises rather than problematic outcomes. Research limitations/implications – We need to theorize project management under imperfect, but realistic circumstances in which complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity are central. One way to start may be to reject the notion that good project management is equivalent to good planning of processes and responsibilities. Rather, we should search for intelligent ways of using plans which necessarily will be rendered inadequate and imperfect by change and turbulence. Originality/value – The plea delivered in the paper is to change our academic focus from devising optimal ways of planning and organizing projects to a search for more intelligent ways of exploiting plans and organizational forms that are, by definition, inadequate and imperfect. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Managing Projects in Business Emerald Publishing

Comments on challenging the rational project environment The legacy and impact of Christensen and Kreiner's Projektledning i en ofulständig värld

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1753-8378
DOI
10.1108/17538371211269013
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Kristian Kreiner is one of the co‐authors of Projektledning i en ofulständig värld . The purpose of this paper (commentary) is to reiterate and update a few of the fundamental tenets on which the original text was based. The purpose is also to argue that the need to challenge conventional project management thinking is still pressing today. Design/methodology/approach – This commentary highlights two ideas and makes one plea for future research. Findings – Project managers must bridge two notions of a project: one focussing on some desired future state which can guide current, contingent action, and the other one focussing on the conscious design and planning of social action to enable efficient, collaborative achievements. In practice, project managers face a dilemma in having to encourage both behavioural flexibility (adaptability) and behavioural rigidity (discipline). Secondly, project managers face conditions of complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Conventionally, such conditions are made to signal poor project management, but they are often managerial premises rather than problematic outcomes. Research limitations/implications – We need to theorize project management under imperfect, but realistic circumstances in which complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity are central. One way to start may be to reject the notion that good project management is equivalent to good planning of processes and responsibilities. Rather, we should search for intelligent ways of using plans which necessarily will be rendered inadequate and imperfect by change and turbulence. Originality/value – The plea delivered in the paper is to change our academic focus from devising optimal ways of planning and organizing projects to a search for more intelligent ways of exploiting plans and organizational forms that are, by definition, inadequate and imperfect.

Journal

International Journal of Managing Projects in BusinessEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 7, 2012

Keywords: Organizations; Project management; Project planning; Books; Dilemmas in project management; Imperfect realities as premise; Project as phenomenon; Project as organizational form

References