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Project Management: Learning by Violating Principles

Project-Based Organizing and Strategic Management

ISBN: 978-1-78052-192-3, eISBN: 978-1-78052-193-0

Publication date: 12 October 2011


The chapter explores project management in action in a large public research organisation – NLAT – which decided to change its internal organisation from team- to project-based organisation a few years ago. Because they focus on the realisation of a particular set of tasks for a specific client, project management practices are oriented towards optimising the process of providing clients with answers and solutions. Based on a systematic and comparative analysis of eight NLAT projects, the chapter reports technological success as project achievements, but at the same time the systematic violation of project management principles. Three elements have been identified as enhancing learning, cumulated knowledge and competencies: low project core staffing levels, which lead to the circulation of engineers and researchers around different projects; the building and managing of thematic projects and the encouragement of ‘bricolage’ as a project management style.


Mangematin, V., Blanco, S., Genet, C. and Deschamps, B. (2011), "Project Management: Learning by Violating Principles", Cattani, G., Ferriani, S., Frederiksen, L. and Täube, F. (Ed.) Project-Based Organizing and Strategic Management (Advances in Strategic Management, Vol. 28), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 187-212.



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