باز اندیشی در مدیریت پروژه : تحقیق در واقعیت پروژه ها
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3067||2006||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7940 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 24, Issue 8, November 2006, Pages 675–686
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.
The aim of the paper is to formulate and map a strand of research within the project management field that adequately addresses the ‘actuality’ of project based working and management. The paper draws on the aims, process and outcomes of the Rethinking Project Management Network, including the discussions that took place over its duration within and outside formal meetings, and on a number of joint initiatives among us, the authors of this paper, which resulted from our shared interest in methodologies and concepts relevant to this strand of research in the field. Our central claim is that a better understanding of project actuality – that is, of complex social processes that go on at various levels of project working, will inform equally beneficially the intended theoretical developments in the project management field and practical action in project environments, and will contribute to more satisfactory outcomes of contemporary projects. In the subsequent sections of this paper we will explain this claim by proposing a framework for conceptualisation of ‘project actuality’ and how we understand it. We do so by drawing on selected work in the field of sociology of management practice, on our own recent work in the PM field, on examples and insights from discussions and experiences generated from the ‘Rethinking Project Management’ Network meetings and sense-making papers, and on the aims and outcomes of the RPM Network, outlined and represented in Table 1 and Fig. 1 of the first paper in this special issue . We will particularly outline two key aspects of the ‘project actuality research’ that we propose as unique in comparison with other strands of inquiry in the domain of project management: (1) the underpinning conceptual and philosophical considerations and (2) the methodological approaches and ‘treatment’ of empirical evidence. These are seen as complementary to (and not competing with) other strands of the project management research and they, together, enhance the intellectual foundations of the field in terms of its practical relevance and theoretical diversity.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our aim in this paper has been to discuss critically the nature of knowledge that could be created about the actuality of projects and how it contributes to our understanding of project environments, to improvements in practice, and to educational and developmental efforts. We attempted to shed some light on the assumptions behind theoretical and methodological approaches to researching the actuality of projects and project management that, in our view, can be helpful in broadening the boundaries of the project management body of thought and contributing to more satisfactory processes and outcomes of contemporary projects. Researching the actuality of projects, as presented in this article, draws on: – a combination of practical philosophical considerations and concrete empirical analyses towards understanding human action, and for that matter, managerial action in the concrete situation and – requires a theoretical shift from more common normative rational approaches to individual and project performance towards a more developmental one which focuses on practical action, lived experience, quality of social interaction and communicative relating, operations of power in context, identity, and the relationship between agency and structure in project environments. The research presented in this paper as exemplars of actuality research provide some compelling and interesting insights into the actuality of managing projects addressing on-going gaps in our knowledge of how to effectively manage complex undertakings. Cicmil and Marshall develop an empirically grounded understanding of project complexity that incorporates processes of communicative and power relating among project actors dealing with ambiguity and equivocality related to project performance criteria (success/failure) over time that is in constant flux. Cicmil and Hodgson’s work casts light on the traditional foundations of project management practitioner development and demonstrates the need for developing both instrumental and value rationality as the basis for project management practice. The research by Thomas and Buckle questions the underlying assumptions embedded in traditional project management discourse and explores the impact of these embedded assumptions on the practice and practical discourse of practitioners. The Strathclyde research team’s work on understanding complex project failures contributes significantly to our understanding of the complex interactions between the actuality of projects and the unintentional consequences of applying traditional “best practice” control oriented project management to complete projects under extreme time pressures. All of these research studies make significant contributions to an understanding of the actuality of projects and provide insights into how project management practitioner development needs to change to address these project realities. Methodological issues (epistemology, ontology, and representation) are also of dominant concern in these studies. The argument is that theory and empirical research must proceed simultaneously on micro and macro levels of analysis and within both objective and subjective methodological traditions, focusing on action which is habituated, practical, tacit, dispositional, and at the same time structured. From this perspective, it is important not only to explore or explain what is but also to examine why it is as it is and what activities are encouraged or discouraged by this focus, and how it comes to be. The recommended methodological approaches are capable of addressing a much wider range of important project issues such as: the social responsibility of management, ethical conduct, bounded rationality, anxiety, emotions, the operation of dominant discourses, power/knowledge relationship, culture, and identity. Despite this, we do not promote ‘actuality research’ as a competing or privileged stream of thought to the more mainstream ones. We argue for it as an alternative lens through which new insights into projects and project management practice can be generated. One of the key assertions is that the understanding which drives much of project management literature does not satisfactorily explain the richness of what actually occurs in project environments. This implies an alternative view on managerial knowledge and competencies, challenging the traditional image of ‘professional’ project manager as thinking, purposive, decisive, and rational. Therefore, the theoretical and methodological characteristics of ‘actuality’ research may have significant implications for management education, training, development and ultimately the future of project management as a professional occupation.