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Jacobsson, M., Lundin, R. A. & Söderholm, A. (2016). Towards a multi-perspective research program on projects and temporary organizations: Analyzing the Scandinavian turn and the rethinking effort. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, 9(4), 752-766
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a multi-perspective research program on projects and temporary organizations: Analyzing the Scandinavian turn and the rethinking effort
2016 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 9, no 4, p. 752-766Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze important parts of the contemporary development of project research and to outline plausible and desirable directions for the future. Design/methodology/approach: This is accomplished through a review of the “Scandinavian School of Project Management” and “Rethinking Project Management,” which is complemented with a set of questions distributed to 27 active researchers within the project research field from around the world. Findings: Through the analysis the authors show how the two streams have more similarities than differences, despite the fact that they have been initiated in very different contexty 8ts and ways. The authors could also conclude that the “Scandinavian School” appears stronger on the international scene than in the Nordic countries, and that general perception of what the “school” stands for has changed and been blurred with time. Based on the analysis the authors also proposed the need for a broad, more coherent research effort in terms of a multi-perspective research program on projects and temporary organizations. The essence of this would be: an action research profile to improve practice and foresee the future; a combined research focus on institutional change and project practice to ensure both theoretical and empirical progress; and a strong global perspective to further enrich both theory and practice. Research limitations/implications: This research has obvious limitations in terms of empirical scope and response selection. The questionnaire results should therefore be interpreted with care. Originality/value: The value of this research lies in its reflective nature and the proposed trajectory of the project research domain.

Keywords
Development, Future directions, Project management, Projects, Scandinavian School of Project Management, Temporary organizations
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-29109 (URN)10.1108/IJMPB-10-2015-0100 (DOI)000386076000004 ()2-s2.0-84985028705 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-10-14 Created: 2016-10-14 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved
Jacobsson, M., Lundin, R. A. & Söderholm, A. (2015). Researching Projects and Theorizing Families of Temporary Organizations. Project Management Journal, 46(5), 9-18
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Researching Projects and Theorizing Families of Temporary Organizations
2015 (English)In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 46, no 5, p. 9-18Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Following contemporary development in which most temporary, focused, and organized endeavors can be regarded as a project and studied as a temporary organization, here we ask: How can these phenomena be defined without hindering pluralism in understanding, development, and theorizing? Based on the notions of family resemblance-the idea that it is not a specific trait, but a variety of traits that are shared by some, but not all, members of a family-we propose a new dynamic framework we believe is useful in advancing the studies of projects and temporary organizations toward more opportunities for rigorous theorizing.

Keywords
projects, temporary organizations, conceptual, family resemblance, theory
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-26485 (URN)10.1002/pmj.21520 (DOI)000364590600006 ()2-s2.0-84942295761 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2015-12-15 Created: 2015-12-15 Last updated: 2017-12-01Bibliographically approved
Lundin, R. A. & Söderholm, A. (2013). Temporary organizations and end states: A theory is a child of its time and in need of reconsideration and reconstruction. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, 6(3), 587-594
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Temporary organizations and end states: A theory is a child of its time and in need of reconsideration and reconstruction
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 6, no 3, p. 587-594Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to respond to the research note on the article “A theory on temporary organizations” by reminding readers about the lack of timelessness in the social sciences and alluding to some alternative theory formulations. Design/methodology/approachBy describing/analyzing the context within which “A theory” was developed, the notion that any theory is a child of its time is explicated. Thus, an understanding for the need for reconsideration and reconstruction in social science theory is created. FindingsA necessary step in the work is to come up with ideas as to how crucial elements get transformed and is related to social development. The argument is that when it comes to the use of the word project is under change which creates a tension as to the appropriate realm for a theory of temporary organizations. A theory building on the notion of end state appears to be useful. Practical implicationsA theory incorporating the notion of end state opens up for new ideas on how to manage projects. The traditional project management guidelines might inhibit good solutions to focused behavior. An end state approach is more open for changes in the environment and in ambitions. Originality/valueThe theme opens up for less rigid approaches in relation to traditional project management. The crucial role that planning beforehand is considered to have will be transformed to other mechanisms, triggering planning and rethink.

Keywords
Alternative theory formulations; Change management; Organizational behavior; Project as a changing concept; Project management; Reconstruction of theory
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28847 (URN)2-s2.0-84897965015 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
Hällgren, M., Jacobsson, M. & Söderholm, A. (2012). Embracing the drifting environment: The legacy and impact of a Scandinavian project literature classic. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, 5(4), 695-713
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Embracing the drifting environment: The legacy and impact of a Scandinavian project literature classic
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 695-713-Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and analysis of the legacy of Christensen and Kreiner's (1991) literally classic Projektledning: att leda och lära i en ofullständig värld (Project Management: to manage and learn in an incomplete world). Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on a three-step theoretical analysis deduced from the mentioned classic. The first step provides an overview of the content where the core ideas of the book are derived. This is followed by an analysis of the legacy and impact on theory, empirical approaches, and education. Finally, three main takeaways from the book are discussed. FindingsIn tracking the legacy, the paper analyses, discusses, and illustrates how the Scandinavian approach to projects has evolved. It pinpoints the two core insights of the book; the importance of understanding the impact of the institutional environment on operations, and embracing uncertainty as a natural part of everyday organizational reality. Based on these insights it is shown how the book has expanded the theoretical contributions towards a focus on temporary organisations and everyday practice, how it has helped to make situated empirical research matter, and how it has influenced education to deal with real-life project challenges. Research limitations/implicationsThis paper investigates a book available only in the Scandinavian language and thus only available for a Scandinavian research community. As such the review is written from a Scandinavian perspective, with the limitations in terms of objectivity to the book that follow from that. Practical implicationsThe main lessons discussed in relation to the heritage from the book are: an increased focus on the details of organizing, situated multi-level case-studies, and situation-sensitive teaching methodologies. The paper argues that an increased understanding of projects should start with a detailed multi-level analysis of temporary organizing to provide a sound foundation on which to base future research and teaching. Originality/valueThe paper provides an understanding of the origins and diffusion of underpinning ideas of the Scandinavian approach to project management.

Keywords
Books; Contextualizing projects; Practice institutional impact; Project management; Project management classic; Project planning; Scandinavia; Scandinavian School; Uncertainty management
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28856 (URN)10.1108/17538371211269004 (DOI)2-s2.0-84927674857 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
Hällgren, M., Nilsson, A., Blomquist, T. & Söderholm, A. (2012). Relevance lost! A critical review of project management standardisation. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, 5(3), 457-485
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Relevance lost! A critical review of project management standardisation
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 457-485Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to critically analyze the consequences of the diffusion of generic project management knowledge. Design/methodology/approachThis paper is conceptual in its nature, using short examples of four different areas (education, research, certification and practice) to show the diffusion of project management knowledge throughout these areas. FindingsIn this paper the authors argue that relevance may be lost at two levels. The first loss occurs when the practice of project management is transferred, through generalisation and standardisation, into what is generally known as “Best Practice”. The second occurs when “Best Practice” is transferred back to where it is applied (education, research, certification and practice). Research limitations/implicationsThe risk of losing relevance has consequences for what one bases one's assumptions of the nature of projects upon. If the assumptions are based on standardized knowledge, without critically assessing its correctness, the likelihood of producing less relevant research is higher. Practical implicationsWith the risk of losing relevance the authors argue that anyone involved in the areas of education, research, certification and practice needs to be cautious of how they perceive and work with the standards. There is a risk that the knowledge becomes even less relevant and students and practitioners are therefore less prepared for reality. Originality/valueThis paper is part of the literature critiquing the standardization of project management knowledge but it is distinct in terms of how the diffusion processes are perceived and utilized in a project setting.

Keywords
Best practice; Certification; Education; Project management; Projects-as-practice; Relevance lost; Research; Standardization
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28849 (URN)10.1108/17538371211235326 (DOI)2-s2.0-84901639406 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
Jacobsson, M. & Söderholm, A. (2011). Breaking out of the straitjacket of project research: In search of contribution. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, 4(3), 378-388
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Breaking out of the straitjacket of project research: In search of contribution
2011 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 378-388Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how a different and partly new strategy is needed in order to make research on projects relevant and interesting to a wider scientific community, including organisation and management theory. Design/methodology/approach – The aim is accomplished through a mystery-focused process that identifies what is not explained and continuously confronts empirical data with theoretical explanations in an interactive manner. Findings – Based on a phenomenology-stimulated meta-analysis of the field of project research, the paper outlines an alternative view of the field of project research and four streams of research, each of which is represented by its own scope, focus, audience and “taken-for-granted” assumptions. The streams are: in search of best practice, in search of legitimacy, in search of inspiration and in search of contribution. Research limitations/implications – The paper suggests that, in order to make an true impact on management and social science theories in general, projects must be redefined as objects of study rather than the raison d'être. The inherent paradox, and the conclusion of the paper is that, in order to become more relevant for a broader research community, projects must be reduced to an empirical illustration, a case among others. Originality/value – The paper provides a meta-analysis of the project management research field and offers new insights into challenges that need to be addressed in order to make project management research relevant for a wider management research community.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28873 (URN)10.1108/17538371111144139 (DOI)2-s2.0-84865355527 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2017-11-21Bibliographically approved
Hällgren, M. & Söderholm, A. (2011). Projects-as-Practice: New Approach, New Insights. In: The Oxford Handbook of Project Management: . Oxford University Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Projects-as-Practice: New Approach, New Insights
2011 (English)In: The Oxford Handbook of Project Management, Oxford University Press, 2011Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article mainly focuses on projects-as-practice based in the social sciences, and it suggests that the situated practice side of a social phenomenon is also important as a basis of study for understanding what is done. While the study is empirical, it focuses on the actions and actors involved in building or organizing environments, rather than simply looking at aggregated social processes or structures. With this approach, projects are seen as the sum of the actions of the people involved, which emphasizes both how people involved in projects act and how their typical workdays are structured. This may shed light on areas such as the importance of project management practice for strategic organizational change or the improvisation that is necessary for project execution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2011
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28871 (URN)2-s2.0-84924937559 (Scopus ID)978-019172487-9 (ISBN)978-019956314-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2016-09-22Bibliographically approved
Hällgren, M. H. & Söderholm, A. (2010). Orchestrating deviations in global projects: Projects-as-Practice observations. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 26(4), 352-367
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Orchestrating deviations in global projects: Projects-as-Practice observations
2010 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Management, ISSN 0956-5221, E-ISSN 1873-3387, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 352-367Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Contemporary projects in a global environment are challenging to manage on a daily basis because of the need for situation-specific attention, on one hand, and the desire for efficiency and standardisation on the other. On the basis of loosely coupled systems theory, this paper investigates how a project team responds to departures from the project plan, de-couples these deviations from other activities in the project, treats the deviations and re-couples them. Through participant observations, interviews, as well as vocabulary used by project managers, the paper identifies two general sequences of de-coupling and re-coupling in responding to deviations. In "good enough" practice flexibility initially dominates the sequence, postponing stabilization of the situation until later when the appropriateness of the previous actions is considered. "Carefully assessed" practice on the other hand is initially dominated by creating a stable situation, and secondly flexibility is required in the search for the solution. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords
Loosely coupled systems; Managing deviations; Practice approach; Projects-as-Practice
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12204 (URN)10.1016/j.scaman.2010.09.002 (DOI)000284793700002 ()2-s2.0-78049454961 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-11-03 Created: 2010-11-03 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
Blomquist, T., Hällgren, M., Nilsson, A. & Söderholm, A. (2010). Project-as-Practice: In Search of Project Management Research That Matters. Project Management Journal, 41(1), 5-16
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Project-as-Practice: In Search of Project Management Research That Matters
2010 (English)In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 41, no 1, p. 5-16Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Research on projects is not only an immaturefield of research, but it is also insubstantial whenit comes to understanding what occurs in projects.This article contributes to making projectmanagement research matter to the academic aswell as to the practitioner by developing a projectas-practice approach, in alignment with theongoing debate in social science research.The article outlines a framework and argues thatthere are two major challenges to the researcherand also suggests how these challenges can bemet. Underlying notions of the practice approachare outlined to ensure a development of theproject-as-practice approach that makes projectmanagement research matter!

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12050 (URN)10.1002/pmj.20141 (DOI)000281810700002 ()2-s2.0-78049455180 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-09-28 Created: 2010-09-28 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
Söderholm, A. & Remington, K. (2010). Time: one factor influencing the project managementof change. International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 2(3), 221-235
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Time: one factor influencing the project managementof change
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, ISSN 1740-2891, E-ISSN 1740-2905, Vol. 2, no 3, p. 221-235Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using the concept of ‘time’ as a lens, this paper explores anorganisational change project in order to compare different world views thatmight affect project delivery. Observations which have time as a centralelement in their construction are reported from a case study involving actionresearch. The paper explores some apparent dissonances observed around thesocial experience of time: future and past orientation; organisational andprofessional and personal constructs; ‘clock time’ or chronos, in comparisonwith the qualitative time concept, kairos. Recommendations are made withrespect to time for management of change as a project.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-12049 (URN)2-s2.0-84952972211 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2010-09-28 Created: 2010-09-28 Last updated: 2017-09-14Bibliographically approved
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Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-0980-7877

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