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Rethinking project practice: emerging insights from a series of books for practitioners

Darren Dalcher (National Centre for Project Management, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 5 September 2016

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the major trends and contributions published in the Advances in Project Management book series and place them in the context of the findings and outputs from the Rethinking Project Management Network. A key aim is to address the concerns of project practitioners and explore the alternatives to the assumed linear rationality of project thinking. The paper further offers a guided catalogue to some of the key ideas, concepts and approaches offered to practitioners through the series.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual review paper that reflects on the main areas covered in a book series aimed at improving modern project practice and explores the implications on practice, knowledge and the relationship between research and practice. The topics are addressed through the prism of the Rethinking Project Management Network findings.

Findings

The paper explores new advances in project management practice aligning them with key trends and perspectives identified as part of the Rethinking Project Management initiative. It further delineates new areas of expertise augmenting those mentioned in the disciplinary canons of knowledge.

Research limitations/implications

The paper offers a new understanding of how knowledge is created in, for and by practice. Improving the relationship between theory and practice may demand a new appreciation of the role of practitioners and the value of their reflection in context.

Practical implications

The primary implication is to explore the new directions and perspectives covered by authors in the Advances in Project Management series, and identify main areas and topics that feature in the emerging discourse about project management practice. In addition, new conceptualisations of the role of practitioners in making sense of project realities are offered and considered.

Originality/value

New areas of interest and activity are identified and examined, offering a catalogue of new writing and perspectives in project practice. Reflection on the relationship between research and practice encourages fresh thinking about the crucial role of practitioner knowledge and reflection.

Keywords

Citation

Dalcher, D. (2016), "Rethinking project practice: emerging insights from a series of books for practitioners", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 9 No. 4, pp. 798-821. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-03-2016-0027

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited