Revealing the hidden facets of normative assessments: improving the management of major infrastructure projects through engaged scholarship
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Article publication date: 21 October 2020
Issue publication date: 21 January 2021
This study focuses on the dynamic relationship between organizational actors and engaged scholars involved in a normative assessment conducted in a public organization managing major projects.
We build on a 15-month engaged scholarship experience carried out in the Ministry of Transport of Quebec. We explain and analyze the normative assessment process, using a storytelling approach and vignettes to explore four situated learning moments.
This study offers a deeper understanding of how normative assessment is conducted, and how situated and collective learning occur throughout. We find that both organizational actors and researchers learn through this process and synchronize their mutual learning such that researchers actually participate in a larger organizational transformation.
Like any qualitative endeavor, this research is context-specific. We offer several research avenues to extend the applicability of findings.
This article could inspire organizations and scholars to collaborate on normative assessment during organizational transformation. This approach is of particular interest in the context of a worldwide pandemic where public and private organizations all have to adapt to new sanitary, economic, technological and social realities.
In a context marked by growing concern for the research-practice gap and the relevance of scholarship, our study illustrates the development of a mutually beneficial collaboration between practitioners and researchers that enhances understanding of complex organizational phenomena and issues.
This research highlights the relevance of engaged scholarship and supports normative assessment as a social process to generate mutual learning.
The authors would like to thank the representatives of the Ministry of Transport of Quebec and study participants who made this research possible, the research team involved in the normative assessment, as well as guest editors and reviewers for their thoughtful comments and suggestions. The Ministry of Transport of Quebec mandated the original research team to conduct the normative assessment, but no additional funding was received for the production of this article.
Brunet, M., Baba, S., Aubry, M., El Boukri, S., Primeau, M.-D. and Dollard, D. (2021), "Revealing the hidden facets of normative assessments: improving the management of major infrastructure projects through engaged scholarship", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 59-86. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-02-2020-0041
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