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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2019

Christophe Midler

The last few decades have seen the rapid emergence of two transformative streams in large firms. The first is the development of project management, aimed at improving the…

Abstract

Purpose

The last few decades have seen the rapid emergence of two transformative streams in large firms. The first is the development of project management, aimed at improving the performance of innovation management, while the second, the internationalization of innovation organizations and processes in response to strategies of redeployment toward emerging countries. Both streams have been closely analyzed in the fields of project management and international management, respectively. However, the links between the two have been less studied. The purpose of this paper is to consider the hypothesis that a firm’s projectification might have an important impact on its pattern of internationalization in innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

First, we present the models of internationalization of innovation processes used in the multinational corporation literature. This field essentially focuses on the components of permanent organizations: global internationalization strategy and legacy, R&D footprint, characterization of local subsidiaries and the role of central head offices. Projects figure only as a context in which those elements operate, not as a structuring variable of the global innovation process pattern. The authors challenge this view by exploring whether the specificities of the firm’s projectification pattern can influence how it builds its global innovation process. The paper is based on a longitudinal case where the authors analyze the organizational transition within the Renault group, an emblematic case of a multinational that implemented a spectacular internationalization transition in the 2000s.

Findings

Our results demonstrate project organizing’s major impact on the internationalization patterns of innovation processes within the firm. They show how the deployment of a polycentric innovation footprint has been the consequence of a specific projectification transition, giving the project and program functions the autonomy to transgress centralized product development norms to adapt their project to the local environment; use the initial breakthrough project as the foundation for a new and specific global product development network through a lineage logic; and sustain this innovation global network as a permanent process of the firm.

Research limitations/implications

The paper demonstrates the importance of the organization’s projectification characteristics as an important vector for successfully implementing the most advanced internationalization strategies (i.e. reverse innovation) and innovation processes models (i.e. integrated networks).

Practical implications

The paper characterizes project management related conditions that can govern the success of innovation strategies in high-growth emerging countries: the autonomy and empowerment of project functions; colocation and integration of teams; existence of a program function; and HR policies capable of supporting lineage management and project-to-project learning processes.

Originality/value

Bridging project management literature with multinational management literature. Demonstrate the key impact of projectification on internationalization pattern of the firm. Longitudinal analysis of a firm internationalization transition on a ten-year period.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Monique Aubry and Sylvain Lenfle

The purpose of this paper is to revisit Christophe Midler's contribution through L'auto qui n'existait pas (The car that did not exist), first published in 1993. The paper…

1175

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to revisit Christophe Midler's contribution through L'auto qui n'existait pas (The car that did not exist), first published in 1993. The paper summarizes and examines the main themes of the book based on current knowledge and ends with suggestions for future research opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is grounded in an in‐depth analysis of Midler's book and a one‐hour interview with him.

Findings

Midler argues that projectification is not a temporary managerial fashion; quite the contrary. At Renault, he witnessed a profound industrial transformation founded on collective learning. Central to this transformation was the establishment of project management as an engine of renewal within the permanent organisation.

Practical implications

Revisiting Midler's work on projectification generates new insights into understanding the current situation confronting organisations in all industries as they evolve in their approach to creativity and innovation.

Originality/value

Two original facets of Midler's seminal work still influence the field of project management. First, he provided a global understanding of the creative organisation. He described, analysed and explained how an organisation reinvents itself, not only in terms of project management, but more globally, from a permanent organisation perspective. Recent research developments focus on project‐oriented organisations, program and portfolio management, organisational project management, and others. Midler's work should be more widely known and referenced for its capacity to conceptualise what simultaneously happens in multiple, concurrent, organisational terms as a project is carried out (e.g. financial, commercial, technological and career development). Second, Midler conducted a study from within an organisation for four years. In this respect, he could be seen as a precursor of recent project management research practices.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Mattias Jacobsson and Beata Jałocha

The aim of this article is to give an overview of the development and current state of projectification research. The inquiry was driven by a threefold research question…

1250

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this article is to give an overview of the development and current state of projectification research. The inquiry was driven by a threefold research question: How has projectification been understood and defined over time, what has the trajectory of the development been and what are the main trends and emerging ideas?

Design/methodology/approach

The article is an integrative literature review of research done on the notion of projectification to date. An interdisciplinary, integrative literature review was conducted using Scopus and Web of Science as primary sources of data collection. The full data set consists of 123 journal articles, books, book chapters and conference contributions. With the data set complete, a thematic analysis was conducted.

Findings

Among other things, the review outlines the development and scope of projectification research from 1995 until 2021 and discusses four emerging images of projectification: projectification as a managerial approach, projectification as a societal trend, projectification as a human state and projectification as a philosophical issue. These characteristics emphasize some common features of each of the images but also imply that the way projectification is understood changes depending on the paradigmatic perspective taken by the researcher, the time and place in which the observation was made and the level of observation.

Originality/value

The authors have outlined and discussed four images of projectification – projectification as a managerial approach, projectification as a societal trend, projectification as a human state and projectification as a philosophical issue – where each image represents a special take on projectification with some prevalent characteristics. By doing this, the authors provide a systematic categorization of research to date and thus a basis upon which other researchers can build when furthering the understanding of projectification at large.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2008

Philippe Silberzahn and Christophe Midler

The purpose of this study is to examine how firms deal with a situation of true uncertainty about their potential markets and technologies. Specifically, it asks how firms…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine how firms deal with a situation of true uncertainty about their potential markets and technologies. Specifically, it asks how firms can create products when the corresponding market does not exist.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a longitudinal study of a high‐tech firm, combined with analysis of existing theory in product design and entrepreneurship.

Findings

Markets and products are usually a defining choice made early on by firms in their strategic process. Such a choice guides their development by providing a “stable concept” to which decisions can be related. When markets do not exist yet, however, this approach is not effective. Early choice of products and markets limits firms' flexibility by constraining their ability and willingness to adapt, while fundamental new technical and market information is likely to emerge during the project that will prove the initial assumptions wrong. The paper shows an alternative approach where products and markets actually result from a generic process of products and markets exploration driven by the firm. It is suggested that this approach forms a robust design in that it allows the firm to deal with the uncertainty by simultaneously developing its products and exploring markets, while preserving the flexibility to adapt to the changing environment.

Practical implications

The practical implication of this paper is to suggest an alternative approach to deliberate planning in high‐tech ventures. With this approach, rather than markets and products, strategy defines a market and technology exploration process.

Originality/value

The paper is original in three ways. It links the product design and market exploration processes in high‐tech firm development; it is based on an in‐depth longitudinal study; and it results from an academic‐practitioner collaborative work.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 October 2019

Yvonne Schoper and Helgi Thor Ingason

1407

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2012

Jonas Söderlund and Joana Geraldi

The purpose of this paper is to argue for the need of continuously revisiting and reformulating the contributions of past research. In particular the focus is on project…

2902

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue for the need of continuously revisiting and reformulating the contributions of past research. In particular the focus is on project management writings. In addition, the purpose of the paper is to introduce the reader to the special issue on Classics in project management and give an overview of the different contributions.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on literature in related fields and the approach is paradigmatic, illustrating the value of common literature and common language to develop a knowledge domain.

Findings

The authors provide an introductory framework and arguments for the need to revisit the contributions of the past. Since “the past” and readings of it will continuously change and develop, exploring it is not a “one‐off” job, but part of the dialogue within the academic community. From an evolutionary perspective, the authors make the point that an important role for scholars is to “store” knowledge from the past to tell the stories found in prior research, the influential ideas and their development within the knowledge domain/discipline. In a critical realm, the authors also see the role of critical engagement with the past to question what we take for granted to be able to improve our collective ability to think and from that end develop project management thinking and research. In that sense, revisiting the past might provide avenues to future research and adventurous explorations.

Originality/value

The authors introduce the idea of classics in project management as an ongoing and important debate among scholars within the field. This discussion has so far received only limited attention among scholars in the field of project management.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Derek Walker and Beverley Lloyd-Walker

The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent of the continuing influence on project management (PM) research directions of rethinking project management over the…

5708

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent of the continuing influence on project management (PM) research directions of rethinking project management over the last ten years.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors chose a qualitative research approach that involved reading all papers published in the International Journal of Managing Project in Business since its commencement in 2008. Content analysis was performed on these papers to allow axial coding of key article content influence themes.

Findings

The research identified the strength, over time, of the three research interest clusters on the PM research agenda and resultant changes in the PM paradigm. The five directions put forward by the rethinking PM agenda and other researchers ten years ago have continued to influence the PM research agenda.

Originality/value

Findings provide a better understanding the changes in PM research directions since rethinking PM, the increased breadth and sophistication of PM research in general, and future research directions.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Sebastian Godenhjelm, Rolf A. Lundin and Stefan Sjöblom

The purpose of this paper is to establish an understanding of what projectification means, how projectification is driven forward, as well as what the consequences of…

1682

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish an understanding of what projectification means, how projectification is driven forward, as well as what the consequences of projectification are in an European Union (EU) context, and in the public sector in general.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methods consist of a literature review as well as a meta-analysis of key EU policy documents related to the functioning of regional development and projects. The paper shows that structural developments brought forth by a projectification in a public sector context have significant consequences.

Findings

Without contextually sensitive interlinking mechanisms between temporary and permanent structures projects risk losing their flexible and innovative qualities, and may fragment the ability of permanent organisations for maintaining coordination and continuity. The findings suggests that the proximity of permanent organisations, the discretion of entrepreneurship, the political priority of the task, the inclusion of competencies and interests, and the quality of transfer mechanisms are essential variables in explaining the outcome of temporary organisations in a politico-administrative context.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes to the literature on projects in a public sector context and suggests that comparative research on the drivers and consequences of public sector projectification in supranational as well as national contexts is needed.

Practical implications

The increasing requirements for applied project management skills and methods as criteria for project selection in the public sector highlight the importance of a broader theoretical and practical understanding of projectification.

Originality/value

The paper adds a new dimension to the projectification debate by presenting a descriptive and conceptual discussion about the consequences of public sector projectification in an EU context. It complements an existing theory of the temporary organisation and takes the first steps towards a theory applicable to projectification in a public context.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 April 2018

Jean Harvey and Monique Aubry

The purpose of this paper is to explore commonalities and differences between projects and processes, and between project management (PjM) and process management (PcM)…

1397

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore commonalities and differences between projects and processes, and between project management (PjM) and process management (PcM), with a view to challenge this dichotomic typology, clarify the gray areas in between and propose better ways to classify and manage different endeavors.

Design/methodology/approach

The research compares different tools and techniques used in both fields, explores the respective literatures and uses various examples to bring out similarities and differences.

Findings

The current paradigms engender a number of organizational endeavors, which are actually complex processes being managed as projects, using the PjM body of knowledge. Because each instantiation takes a somewhat different form, it is treated as a one-of-a-kind undertaking; whereby many of the opportunities for learning and continuous improvement associated with PcM are lost. A reframing and typology is proposed to clarify the central notions involved.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed model has not been tested empirically and the authors could not agree on all aspects of the paper, though existing differences are more about degrees, nuances and wording than about the basic findings of the paper.

Practical implications

The research makes the case that two research and practice communities that are evolving independently have much to gain by adopting a unified model and integrating their respective bodies of knowledge. Practitioners would thus access resources that are better adapted to the management challenges they are facing and gain a sustainable source of strategic advantage.

Originality/value

The paper challenges long-established paradigms between two distinct research streams. A new typology and classification criteria are proposed.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Cécile Fonrouge, Christophe Bredillet and Charles Fouché

Both project investments and entrepreneurial ventures are considered powerful catalysts of economic prosperity and social progress. But these ventures and investments come…

Abstract

Purpose

Both project investments and entrepreneurial ventures are considered powerful catalysts of economic prosperity and social progress. But these ventures and investments come with their inherent challenges and risks. Observing this situation, academics have paid close attention to the fields of entrepreneurship and project management (E&PM). Thus, for over 30 years, the two fields have witnessed remarkable developments among management and organization studies. The historical perspective reveals that these two multidisciplinary fields were built in parallel, on very distinct mindsets and cultures. The purpose of this paper is to offer a wider dialogic conversation between two distinct perspectives and related propositions: E&PM should stay separated; and E&PM should converge.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to guide the investigation of these propositions, the authors call for Luhmann and a systemic-discursive perspective of both fields discourses. Ultimately, the purpose is to contribute to the debate surrounding the following questions: are E&PM fields so far from each other, and thus, irreconcilable? And, if so, is it so good?

Findings

Finally, the authors will suggest that E&PM may stay far from each other as they do not share similar discourses and codes. This may be a good state of affairs, however, as distance generates a fruitful creative tension between them.

Originality/value

While many researchers focus on linking E&PM, arguing that they largely agree as to their underlying goal, the paper aims to offer a wider dialogical conversation between the two distinct perspectives and their related propositions: E&PM should stay separate; and E&PM should converge. In order to do so, this paper calls for a Luhmannian and a systemic-discursive perspective.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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