بورس تحصیلی مدیریت پروژه : ارتباط، تاثیر و پنج چالش یکپارچه برای مدارس کسب و کار و مدیریت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3318||2012||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9139 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 30, Issue 6, August 2012, Pages 686–696
This paper discusses the standing of project management in the academy. It does so from the viewpoint of business and management schools. The paper identifies five critical integrative challenges concerning research, how they might be better addressed and perhaps turned into opportunities. The paper builds on recent debates within the area of engaged scholarship and knowledge co-production, which call for greater focus on multi-disciplinarity and research–practice collaborations. The paper offers suggestions as to what project management scholars could do to tackle the identified challenges and thereby improve the standing of project management as a subject area within the academy and its contribution to the curriculum and research agenda of business and management schools. The paper ends with some thoughts about future debates on the role of project management research and teaching, especially how project management scholarship could help respond to some of the current criticism of business school research and how research could better inform management practice
Business and management schools worldwide face considerable challenges in the years to come. Recent debates have highlighted a series of issues, including globalization, lack of relevance of the research, lack of diversity, and modest impact on organizational and management practice (see for instance Denisi, 2010 and Pettigrew, 2011). This paper examines the issues of relevance and impact for business and management schools and in what ways PM scholarship can help resolve them. It is a conceptual paper, based on relevant literatures and our own experiences of working in business and management schools. We refer to ‘integrative challenges’—requiring bridging of areas, domains, practices, perspectives, and problem definitions. These challenges not only present opportunities for business and management schools, but some changes in PM scholarship itself. One example of an integrative challenge is the dualism of strategy and execution; business schools historically have viewed these as distinct and separate activities. An integrative view considers them as a duality, nested and mutually dependent and, contrary to current thinking, one being just as important as the other. In this paper we will discuss this and four other integrative challenges (business and technology, hard and soft skills, linking research with practice, and exploration and exploitation of research). We go further and suggest that teaching and research in PM could potentially make business and management schools better equipped to respond to the issues of relevance and impact, and perhaps even turn the challenges into new opportunities.1 The subject of PM has evolved into an increasingly important field both for driving research within business schools and for executive education, and not just for our employers but globally. The main reasons are the strategic importance of projects in a range of organizations (not only those that qualify as being project-based), the importance of projects and project management for many of the growth industries of our age (including pharmaceuticals and IT), and the large investments that companies, governments and third-sector organizations currently are making to improve their PM competence and capacity (Söderlund, 2005a). Accompanying this change in importance, the past two decades have seen a tremendous growth in education programs at all levels. PMI's Global Accreditation Center has noted substantial year on year increases in the number of programs seeking accreditation, for instance. And it is not the classic project management things that these educational programs thrive on—rather it is the continuous and intense engagement in ‘the stuff of management’ (Bennis and O'Toole, 2005) that attracts participants. Stanford University launched its Advanced Project Management program little over a decade ago which has become one of its most important executive programs. Over a similar period, a number of Scandinavian universities have developed an impressive array of PM offerings. Today the institutions that have made this investment, including Aalto University, BI Norwegian Business School, Linköping University, Royal Institute of Technology, and Umeå University, have reaped the rewards of those programs both financially and, in closing loops back to practice, in their perceived relevance. Furthermore, beyond single courses and programs, a number of leading-edge universities have developed so-called ‘Project Universities’ in collaboration with multinational companies. The BP-MIT collaboration is one example. There are many more including companies such as HP, Statoil, Shell and Rolls Royce with universities such as Delft University in the Netherlands, and Manchester and Cranfield Universities in the UK. As pointed out by Berggren and Söderlund (2011), there is a huge potential in the teaching of PM since this certainly can create the kind of collaborative knowledge space or ‘agora’ (Nowotny et al., 2001) that has been singled out as critical to drive management knowledge enhancement—meaning that these educational programs and centers offer a space and a place for researchers to meet practitioners to talk about real-life management problems, and investigate solutions to better understand, address and solve these problems. Compared to many other subject areas offered by business schools around the world, PM appears rich in opportunities to teach and develop knowledge about 'the stuff of management'. However, the subject area, particularly its research, is operating under a pressure to conform to ‘the logic of the academy.’ For instance, a senior and well-respected academic advised one of the authors that ‘…if you want to get published, drop the term project management from the title or keywords,’ and noted ‘…the area is too applied, too close to practice for proper academic study.’ Similar assertions have been voiced by other well-respected management scholars at doctoral colloquiums at the Academy of Management Meetings. Proper academic study meant ‘published in the top, predominantly US, academic journals’, such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science or Administrative Science Quarterly. With an academy suffering with issues of relevance and impact, this appears incredible. Indeed, the academy has clearly lost its collective mind, if the focus on top-ranked journal articles has become the end rather than a means (or indeed an end) to any kind of ‘engaged scholarship’. As a result, we see whole discussions taking place in the management literature and at conferences with little or no connection to managerial issues. Yet these are where many of the top-ranked journals operate—with little concern for ‘the stuff of management’ or producing ‘good’ theories for management (Ghoshal, 2005). At present, PM is truly a vivid field for scholars, with much academic entrepreneurship and many new collaborations emerging. Sustaining this dynamism is crucial, but this will only happen if the tension identified in the paradox between ‘the logic of impact’ and ‘the logic of the academy’ will be resolved. At PM's current stage of development, there are many more challenges and in this paper we can only highlight and discuss the ones we perceive as the most important and those which also generally fit the overall challenges facing business and management schools. Our ambition here is to introduce a structured debate and call for common action on how to address the challenges. As a general case, this paper could also work to improve our understanding of the development and evolution of academic fields within social science where PM functions as a case in point. For the purposes of this paper we use the term PM very broadly, that is to cover issues related to the management of projects from tactical to strategic levels, and therefore include the spectrum of project, program and portfolio management. In addition, we consider PM not as an academic discipline, but as a knowledge domain and a context for study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Our point of departure for this paper was the issues facing teaching and research in business and management schools, of relevance and impact. The main theme – challenges and how to respond to them –has been to discuss the problems of trying to integrate things –research and practice, business and technology, strategy and execution, management and leadership and exploration and exploitation – and that these are challenges which are absolutely critical to business and management schools addressing the issues of relevance and impact. At the same time, these challenges constitute a true problem – it is difficult to say where to place PM research – are we based in strategy or operations, research or practice, business or technology? We have argued that the field is unique in being able to offer an integrative approach for research, and this can contribute to improving both the relevance and impact of business and management scholarship. We have argued that ‘the stuff of management’, is about integration. Achieving success in organizations requires both strategy and execution (thinking and doing, long-term-short-term, analysis and implementation), business and technology (making money and delivering products and services), and cognitive as well as emotional abilities (hard and soft side of management; management and leadership). In Table 1 we present a summary and synthesis of the integrative challenges dealt with earlier according to their nature with regards to how it challenges the activities of business schools, how it is rooted in management practice, and then finally how it leads to challenges to project management scholarship and, most important, in what ways, if dealt with appropriately, project management scholarship could contribute to improving the responses from business schools on each of the challenges focused upon in the present paper.We lose relevance if the knowledge produced in research does not lead to improved decision-making and practice—if not then what is the point? If business leaders (or at least some of the workers in all the projects out there) are not interested in what we are doing, we certainly have a huge problem. Compared to other areas of business and management, our view is that PM has a number of advantages—managers and companies want to create partnerships with us. For instance, Cranfield University has established a long-term partnership with Hewlett–Packard, two of the leading research environments in Finland have impressive and on-going collaboration with several leading firms, such as Nokia (telecom) and Wärtsilä (power solutions). Linköping University has for more than 10 years worked together with Scania, one of the world's leading producers of heavy trucks—a collaboration that has involved hundreds of managers in the company and is still an important development engine to maintain and strengthen the project competence of that firm (cf. Berggren and Söderlund, 2008). Another example is that between Statoil and BI Norwegian Business School. Every year the best talents in Statoil participate in customized programs in project management led by BI faculty, often in collaboration with international partners. Although there might be room for improvement in both the value generated from these programs and the organizational impact they have produced, as Professor Peter Lorange (Doh and Stumpf, 2007), former dean of BI and IMD said, the best indicator that you are doing a good job is repeat business, and for many of these relationships we are talking about repeat business for more than 10 years, involving hundreds if not thousands of managers. Perhaps even more pressing though is the value it creates for the research environments. As documented in a variety of reports, researchers are primarily interested in getting the money from the partnerships (ibid.). However, to really benefit and make use of such collaborations, it would be critical that they also lead to outstanding research. There are, we believe, huge opportunities for improvements here. For instance, Berggren and Söderlund (2011) say that their collaboration has led to numerous articles and cases have been turned into academic papers. Indeed, there might be exceptions, but our general belief is that only a few of these collaborations actually lead to publications in the top-tier journals. These are of course necessary for the field, but not alone sufficient for its advancement. The promises presented and discussed in the present paper have to a large extent revolved around the dilemma of integration where the pressing problem would be to get stuck in the middle, of not being really good at anything, of being neither very good at strategy, nor very good at execution, not very good at business, nor very good at technology, and so forth. The great promise lies in the fact that more and more of the societal challenges reside in the difficulties of integration and that our current problems need to be addressed from multiple angles simultaneously. This would speak in favor of bringing in business and technology simultaneously, of addressing strategic and operational problems simultaneously, and so on. As we have argued in this paper, PM would then be an area of study which is very well equipped and suited to actually contribute to addressing and tackling the contemporary integrative societal challenges. This paper has only dealt with some of the many challenges facing business and management schools and PM research. As for future debates we hope that more challenges will continue to emerge since, to some extent, this is a sign that the field is moving forward. One major point was to highlight some of the challenges facing PM research, however, to do so in a broader way—as critical challenges facing the business school community, and from that end, argue and exemplify how PM research might help tackling these challenges. We have discussed the integrative challenges facing PM and more widely, business schools. Some of the challenges are already being addressed in some areas, with some resolutions noted in the PM area. Others are going to require greater attention and new strategies from individuals, schools, and the academy more generally and progressive organizations from government and commerce. Once the strategies are developed, they will need executing, and integration of both topics and the parties involved. We are optimistic about such an engagement. After all, isn't integration what PM is all about?