The purpose of this paper is to illustrate and problematize how the expansion of project and temporary work challenges the traditional industrial work organization and its internal and supportive institutions. It highlights the transformation dilemma, which occurs when traditional industrial institutions are confronted by project organizations. It also discusses how one may prepare to meet these challenges.
The long-run incremental changes in organizational structures of the economy are described in an economic historical context, focusing on the organizational form of work and the employment regimes. Challenges, at the societal, organizational and individual levels, related to the “projectification” process are illustrated in considering the case of Sweden.
Project dense industries, like media, entertainment and consultancy, are growing faster than the rest of the economy. The share of project work in permanent organizations is increasing. More than a third of all working hours in industrialized countries, like Germany, was labeled as project work in 2013. This transformation challenges basic conditions for how work is designed and regulated, like the stipulated and uniform work time or the permanent and stable work place. Central institutions of today, like the labor law and the educational system, are challenged.
“Projectification” challenges traditional conditions of work and work life institutions and organizations, like the social partners, the educational and law systems.
The paper brings together and problematizes several aspects of “projectification” of work life. It highlights what kind of challenges work and work-related institutions meet and discusses how to handle some of them, like education.
This paper forms part of a special section “World views on projects and society”.
Ekstedt, E. (2019), "Project work, a challenge to traditional work life institutions", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 267-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-02-2018-0033Download as .RIS
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