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  • 1. Dobers, Peter
    et al.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Social Sciences.
    Translation and inscription in development projects: Understanding environmental and health care-related organizational change2009In: Journal of Organizational Change Management, ISSN 0953-4814, E-ISSN 1758-7816, Vol. 22, no 5, p. 480-493Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to argue that the interface between projects is of particular interest when organizing development projects. It offers a theoretical discussion of translation and inscription phases, not only because they are important to the understanding of mobilizing action in development projects, but also because they are crucial in a chain of sequential projects that are organized as responses to new situations.

     

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses illustrations of development projects in public management in Sweden to discuss a fundamental organizing problem of projects: how project delimitation and formation take place.

     

    Findings – The paper has focused on organizational change and development projects regarding environmental and health care organization renewal projects. It has analyzed how such projects are organized and linked to context. Development problems and their solutions cannot be divided into a functional structure since they overlap and demand attention by a multitude of perspectives during translation.

     

    Research limitations/implications – It is theoretically interesting to highlight certain slices of the organizational reality in projects. The paper has chosen a project perspective and focus at the beginning and end of projects. In theoretical terms, it has chosen to call these phases translation and inscription.

     

    Practical implications – Projects are different compared with permanent organizations due to the existence of beginnings and endings. On the one hand, permanent organizations are normally “going concerns” where the start is back in history and the end is clouded in a distant future. On the other hand, in a project, translation and inscription phases are unavoidable as they are triggered by the specific conditions underlying beginnings and endings.

     

    Originality/value – Projects with clear boundary-overlapping character cannot be judged with concepts stemming from the methods of construction project management. In contrary, the paper argues that there are two other concepts that can better explain the special organizing problems invoked by the cases cited here: translation and inscription.

     

     

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