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Success factors in global project management: A study of practices in organizational support and the effects on cost and schedule

Knut R. Fossum (Faculty of Engineering, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway) (Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Space, NTNU Samfunnsforskning AS, Trondheim, Norway)
Jean C. Binder (International Institute of Management in Technology, University of Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland)
Tage K. Madsen (Department of Marketing and Management, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Denmark)
Wenche Aarseth (Business School, Nord University, Bodø, Norway)
Bjorn Andersen (IPK, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway)

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

ISSN: 1753-8378

Article publication date: 13 May 2019

Issue publication date: 16 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and complete the existing lack of quantitative data at the crossroads between organizational support (OS) practices and project management success in global projects (GPs) and discuss implication of the results in perspective of the theory–practice gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on classical organizational theory and GP knowledge areas, a survey addressing GP practitioners was designed. This paper focuses on OS practices as success factors and addresses a subset of the survey (1,170 respondents across 74 countries).

Findings

OS practices included in the study were found to have high importance for managerial success. OS practices for selection and training of team members show significant correlation with project efficiency but have low adaptation in many organizations. Statistically significant correlations were found to be weaker than expected, indicating that the relation between OS practices (as success factors) and project efficiency (as success criteria) is more complex than expected.

Research limitations/implications

The work constitutes opinion-based research and is vulnerable to variations in OS practices and the definition of success in different organizations and industries. The granularity level of the theoretical framework brought about relative high-level survey questions and may impact the applicability of the results.

Practical implications

To improve the efficiency of GPs, better implementation of OS practices for selection processes and training personnel has been suggested.

Originality/value

The theoretical alignment of classical organizational variables with GP knowledge areas and associated practices provides an original approach to the “theory–practice gap” discourse.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the practitioners involved for their answers to the survey and the parent organizations for supporting the research.

Citation

Fossum, K.R., Binder, J.C., Madsen, T.K., Aarseth, W. and Andersen, B. (2020), "Success factors in global project management: A study of practices in organizational support and the effects on cost and schedule", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 128-152. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-09-2018-0182

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited