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Projects and politics: exploring the duality between action and politics in complex projects
BI Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. BI Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway. (KITE)
BI Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Norway.
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Management and Decision Making, ISSN 1462-4621, Vol. 11, no 2, 121-139 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Traditional research and literature on project management and organisation theory tend to view project organisations as non-political bodies and purely action-oriented endeavours. In contrast, this paper presents an alternative analysis drawing on the idea of projects as political and emergent processes. Based on in-depth, case-study findings of a complex development and implementation project, we suggest an analytical framework that focuses on the interrelatedness of action and political processes and which explains how project management deals with the two processes simultaneously. We identify and analyse three separate but nested organisational logics applied by the project management team to cope with the dual challenges of politics and action. The general idea is to illustrate the notion of projects as emergent processes involving both politics and action. The three logics are: 1) balancing openness and closure; 2) reformulating tasks to seek solutions; 3) relating to improve action capacity. Our findings add to the literature on the role and practice of project management in complex projects that entail both stakeholder and technological challenges.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
InderScience Publishers, 2010. Vol. 11, no 2, 121-139 p.
Keyword [en]
complex projects, politics, project management, action, decision making, practice, emergent processes, organisation, organisational logic, project organisation
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-101090DOI: 10.1504/IJMDM.2010.035213OAI: diva2:665254
Available from: 2013-11-19 Created: 2013-11-19 Last updated: 2013-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Söderlund, Jonas
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