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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Ofer Zwikael, Jack R. Meredith and John Smyrk

Recent research has proposed the position of a project owner as the individual accountable for realizing target benefits. However, there is a lack of understanding in the…

1566

Abstract

Purpose

Recent research has proposed the position of a project owner as the individual accountable for realizing target benefits. However, there is a lack of understanding in the literature of this role – in particular, the specific responsibilities of the project owner that can enhance benefits realization and operations performance. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies these responsibilities in practice through two studies – a qualitative study, which includes interviews with senior executives who fund projects, and an in-depth longitudinal case study, which describes a company that continuously realizes the benefits from its projects.

Findings

The results suggest that a project owner should have 22 key responsibilities across four project phases and that an operations manager is often the most suitable candidate to fulfill this role in operations improvement projects. When performing these project responsibilities effectively, operations managers enhance benefits realization and operations improvement. Finally, the paper proposes five hypotheses for future research.

Originality/value

Based on agency theory, the paper increases our knowledge of the role of the project owner in practice. This new knowledge can enhance the realization of target benefits from projects and ensure a smooth transition from the project to the operations environment.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Ofer Zwikael and Jack R. Meredith

The purpose of this paper is to resolve a core issue in project management research and practice – inconsistent terminology of key project roles. This inconsistency has…

3596

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to resolve a core issue in project management research and practice – inconsistent terminology of key project roles. This inconsistency has negative consequences on the quality and impact of research in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted an analysis of the literature and project management standards to identify both agreed-upon and inconsistent project role terms. Based on role and agency theories, the authors propose a consistent terminology.

Findings

The authors found consensus regarding four terms: project manager, project team, project management office, and program manager. However, the authors also found conflicting definitions and misuse concerning other terms, as well as use of the same title for different roles (e.g. customer, sponsor, champion). The authors define the ten core project roles and the two project entities with which they are associated.

Originality/value

The proposed role definitions and clear distinction between the two project entities offer clarity, reliance on existing consensus, avoidance of conflicts of interest, and clear separation of principal and agent roles. The implementation of these definitions will improve communications and enhance quality within and between both the research and the practice communities.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 November 2021

Frank David Einhorn, Jack Meredith and Carl Marnewick

The paper responds to calls in recent research for a model that shows how the business case should be used throughout the project's lifetime to achieve sound governance…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper responds to calls in recent research for a model that shows how the business case should be used throughout the project's lifetime to achieve sound governance and thereby project success. The aim of the paper is to advance theory about the effective use of the business case.

Design/methodology/approach

Besides the processes and information required, the literature identified 43 organizational facilitating factors, structured into 5 categories, which are required for effective use of the business case. To offer a useful model, the authors' approach was to do a factor analysis, based on existing survey data, to reduce the number of facilitators and to validate their categorization.

Findings

The findings of the paper were as follows: (1) the classification of the proposed facilitating factors was validated; (2) the number of facilitators needed to ensure that the business case is used effectively was substantially reduced and (3) a “business case effectiveness model” is proposed to clarify the relationship between the organizational facilitating factors, the business case processes and the information required to effectively use the business case.

Originality/value

This is the first time that a business case effectiveness model has been proposed. Besides consolidating business case theory, it can be used to guide people and organizations on simple, affordable ways to improve their use of the business case to achieve sound governance and hence business/information technology project success.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Alan Pilkington and Jack R. Meredith

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the research knowledge in OM has been obtained and distributed since the first journals in OM began publication in 1980…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how the research knowledge in OM has been obtained and distributed since the first journals in OM began publication in 1980, changes in the interests of OM over the decades and where they are heading in the future; and to explore the changing roles of individual journals in the development of OM.

Design/methodology/approach

A two-stage bibliometric study was employed, first using citation analysis to examine the changing research interests in OM through an analysis of the OM journals. Then the top journals of most importance to OM were analyzed to determine the role that each one played in the knowledge distribution network and how that changed over the decades.

Findings

OM’s journal base consists of 7 research knowledge sources, 12 transmitters linking different journal groups, and 11 sinks with limited input. Research attention changed from practice, engineering, and OR to general management, strategy, and production management in the 2000s, with strategy, organizational issues, and logistics surfacing in the 2010s. OM features increasingly academic research with less interest in practice. OM journals’ network importance has increased substantially, with JOM now a bridge between the quantitative and management journals.

Practical implications

Both researchers and managers gain in understanding the history and identifying the future direction of OM, as well as which journals will have the most relevant papers to their interests.

Originality/value

This research identifies the history of the OM field in terms of its constituents and where it is going in the future. This history is related to the role OM plays among the knowledge network of top journals and presents a novel way of classifying and labeling journals based on their contribution.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 November 2019

Ofer Zwikael and Jack R. Meredith

Project goal setting, led by a project proposal development team, is an important operations process because effective goal setting aligned with the operations strategy…

1054

Abstract

Purpose

Project goal setting, led by a project proposal development team, is an important operations process because effective goal setting aligned with the operations strategy can enhance project investment decision making, project success and thereby operations performance. The purpose of this paper is to argue that because of the strategic nature of this task, the organizational climate (OC) that the proposal development team works in is critical for the effectiveness of their goal setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors raise hypotheses regarding the role OC plays in enhancing the effectiveness of the support senior executives provide to project proposal teams. The authors test the hypotheses in a longitudinal survey of 200 managers in the USA.

Findings

Results show that a formal organizational process used by proposal development teams for setting project goals is highly effective and that an appropriate OC further intensifies the positive effect of such a process. However, a formal organizational process has no positive effect on effective goal setting if implemented in an environment with a poor OC.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature by finding that a positive OC intensifies the already positive effect of organizational support. In practice, the creation of such a climate can enhance project goal setting, project success, and as a result, operations performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Abstract

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

Frank Einhorn, Jack Meredith and Carl Marnewick

Literature indicates that the business case for projects is difficult to use and suggests that there are organizational factors that can facilitate effective use of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Literature indicates that the business case for projects is difficult to use and suggests that there are organizational factors that can facilitate effective use of the business case. This paper aims to identify such facilitators, measure their presence and importance, and relate them to the actual practice of business case processes.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross sectional quantitative method was used, with data on facilitators and business case process usage gathered through an online questionnaire.

Findings

The findings for the 43 organizational facilitators are that each one is considered more important than its presence in the respondents' organizations. High correlations emerge between the presence of the facilitators and the use of business case processes, indicating the pivotal role of the facilitators.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted for business IT projects implemented by organizations based in South Africa. It furthers our understanding of project business cases and suggests additional research avenues in this area.

Practical implications

The findings indicate that organizations could improve key facilitators at an affordable cost. Such improvement would enable more effective use of the business case throughout the project's lifetime – from initial concept until planned benefits have been substantially realized. Better use of the business case would also support governance and increase the success rate of business IT projects.

Originality/value

Organizational facilitators of business case processes are identified and categorized for the first time, leading to measurements of their perceived importance and presence in organizations. Hence, the relationship between these facilitators and actual business case usage is determined, suggesting areas of optimum impact.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

Raj Aggarwal, J. Edward and Louise E. Mellen

Justifying new manufacturing technology is usually very difficult since the most important benefits are often strategic and difficult to quantify. Traditional capital…

Abstract

Justifying new manufacturing technology is usually very difficult since the most important benefits are often strategic and difficult to quantify. Traditional capital budgeting procedures that rely on return measures based on direct cost savings and incremental future cash flows do not normally capture the strategic benefits of higher quality, faster responses to wider ranges of customer needs, and the options for future growth made available by flexible manufacturing technology. Adding to these limitations is the difficulty of using traditional cost accounting systems to generate the information necessary for justifying new manufacturing investments. This paper reviews these problems and recommends procedures useful for assessing investments in flexible manufacturing technology.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 17 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

Article
Publication date: 1 May 1993

Jack Meredith

Identifies the significant role of conceptual research methods intheory building and contrasts it with the theory‐testing researchcurrently prevalent in operations…

3536

Abstract

Identifies the significant role of conceptual research methods in theory building and contrasts it with the theory‐testing research currently prevalent in operations management. The research stages of description, explanation and testing are used to distinguish between theory building and theory testing. Short‐circuiting any one of these stages results in dysfunctional research activities which produce war stories, black boxes, or ivory‐tower prescriptions. Defines some terms relevant to conceptual research methods and describes different conceptual classification schemes. Finally, discusses the differences between conceptual models, frameworks, and theories and illustrates each method with examples from the literature.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Christopher W. Craighead and Jack Meredith

This paper aims to investigate the evolution of operations management (OM) research along two major dimensions from 1977 to 2003 and discusses possible paths for research…

4503

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the evolution of operations management (OM) research along two major dimensions from 1977 to 2003 and discusses possible paths for research progression in the future.

Design/methodology/approach

To identify OM research papers, a careful definition of OM research was constructed based initially on earlier work and then more precisely extended through empirical analysis. The research on OM builds on a previous study that took snapshots of OM research in 1977 and 1987. It then extends and updates it through a content analysis of 593 articles published in 1995 and 2003 in five journals recognized for publishing OM research.

Findings

The overall results illustrate that OM has evolved from heavily rationalistic, axiomatic analyses based on artificial reconstructions of reality toward more interpretive analyses based on natural observations of reality.

Research limitations/implications

As the OM field continues to evolve, it is important to monitor and reassess published research to discern its changing dimensions. While this effort is not an exhaustive review of all OM research and does not consider all relevant journals and years, it does offer the “big picture” perspective needed for analyzing changing research approaches in the field.

Practical implications

The research provides an analysis of the evolution of knowledge creation within the field and possible paths for its future development. The practical implications are that as research becomes more interpretive and observation‐based, the findings will have more relevance for managers and the problems they face.

Originality/value

While several authors have analyzed the OM field relative to select research methods and journals, this paper provides a broader and more encompassing view of OM research along two important research dimensions: the researcher's framework and the source of the data.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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