Purpose – In this paper, the dominant techno-rational view of studying delays in projects is challenged. In so doing, the purpose of this paper is to urge for more attention paid to studying the intentionalities of the planners involved in planning the schedule for projects. Design/methodology/approach – In this paper, the authors take a critical approach to review a range of literatures related to the concept of project delays. Through this review, the authors render the relative absence of acknowledging intentionality in the study of delays problematic. Therefore, the authors inject fresh insights into how intentionality can play a crucial role in advancing the understanding of project delays. Findings – Prevailing research tends to assume the primacy of the project plan and conceptualise delays as a consequence of flawed execution. The review offers three possibilities for reconceptualising delays as a consequence of flawed plans. In so doing, the authors refocus the attention on how intentionality could play a crucial role in shaping “inaccurate” plans, which in turn could lead to the creation of delays. Research limitations/implications – As a consequence of this review paper, the authors invite scholarship into project delays to move away from finding “cause-and-effect” mechanisms to attend more closely to the role intentionality plays in creating delays, whether intended, unintended, or imagined. Originality/value – This paper brings intentionality to the fore to challenge the assumptions over the nature of delays. In so doing, the review expands the understanding of project delays by incorporating unintended, intended, and imaginary perspectives.
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 7, 2015