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  • 1.
    Chrons, Antti
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration.
    Kaivola, Jussi
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration.
    Consultant Project Managers Coping With Liminality: An identity and sensemaking perspective2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Usage of temporaries in contemporary business is increasing due to demand for agile and efficient way of doing business. This trend has been rising especially when turning into 21stcentury. Growing group of temporary workers in different industries being mobile and under different circumstances than regular full-time workers. One professional group working with clients in temporal terms is consultants hired as project managers to lead customer projects in project-based organizations. These project managers switch context between businesses and try to adapt as soon as possible to new environments. The paper uses concept of liminality as a metaphor to describe these passages between projects which starts identity work and sensemaking process in individual.

    Purpose of Thesis:  The purpose of this thesis was to study how project managers cope with liminality using sensemaking and identity work as a point of view.

    Methodology: This is a qualitative cross-sectional study conducted through semi-structured interviews in order to gather primary data for further analysis and findings. The empirical data was gathered from a Finnish professional service company and consisted ten interviews of consultant project managers.

    Findings: The study presents a four-field matrix forming project manager archetypes as embodiments of variation how consultant project managers deal with liminality. Although, the group of people in the sample can be perceived homogeneous, it turned out that it contained heterogeneous characteristics regarding the research scope. The main differences found are illustrated through technical or social approach toward work, and whether sensemaking processes occurred in individual or collective manner. Therefore, the study was able to create four different form of archetypes: the realist, the connector, the performer and the moderator.

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