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Relevance lost! A critical review of project management standardisation
Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0980-7877
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 5, no 3, 457-485 p.Article 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 5, no 3, 457-485 p.
Keyword [en]
Best practice; Certification; Education; Project management; Projects-as-practice; Relevance lost; Research; Standardization
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-28849DOI: 10.1108/17538371211235326Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84901639406OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-28849DiVA: diva2:972490
Available from: 2016-09-21 Created: 2016-09-21 Last updated: 2016-09-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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