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This chapter compares and contrasts the diverse theoretical foundations of two paradigms in strategic project management. The first, older paradigm, draws on foundational ideas about nature (i.e., it is predictable) and human rationality (strategy and implementation are distinct) to conceptualize project management in terms of controlling predictable project processes and their inherent risks, so that project managers can optimize the trade-offs between timing, cost and quality. The second practice-based alternative paradigm conceptualizes people as sources of deterministic behavior in an otherwise often unpredictable world. Projects are key tools that are used to strategically create this predictable behavior, with project plans being used as scaffolding to help co-ordinate the distributed behavior of systemically connected people in space and time as the project proceeds. The chapter highlights how this second paradigm has a more robust scientific basis, shows how it informed the development of the Heathrow T5 project, and draws implications of for future theory and practice.
This chapter clarifies our understanding of the project-based firm (PBF) by sharpening the theoretical foundations of project capabilities. It emphasizes the differences…
This chapter clarifies our understanding of the project-based firm (PBF) by sharpening the theoretical foundations of project capabilities. It emphasizes the differences between project capabilities that eliminate variance in project outcomes (to control costs and add value) and economies of scale that reduce costs across multiple projects. It also highlights how the different ways in which value is captured by project-based organizations can feedback to influence how these capabilities and scale economies are generated. This opens up new typologies of project-based organizations, with implications for theory and practice.
The purpose of this paper is to review the content and contributions of the article by Klein and Meckling entitled “Application of operations research to development…
The purpose of this paper is to review the content and contributions of the article by Klein and Meckling entitled “Application of operations research to development decisions” which was published in the journal Operations Research in May‐June 1958. The paper explores the major concepts and contributions in the article and suggests that these are relevant to today's complex and uncertain development projects.
The paper outlines the context in which the research on which the article is based took place and presents the main ideas in the article which relate to decision making in the procurement and development of complex systems.
The paper demonstrates the utility of the concepts in the original article, shows how they have been used in academic research on project management and innovation and that they are still relevant for both practical project management and project‐based research.
The primary implication is to demonstrate the value of revisiting a classic contribution in project management, in this case, one which remained hidden for a long period, but has recently come to the fore again.
The issues raised by the original article – related to decision making under conditions of uncertainty – remain high on the agenda today and revisiting the article may help provide a better appreciation of how to deal with those issues.
The eclectic paradigm as developed by Dunning evolved in response to the changing IB milieu. I argue that this continual expansion threatens to make the paradigm tautological, without an honest “gatekeeper.” Continual expansion to address new lacunae begins to have decreasing returns, either because the gatekeeper cannot expect to have the specialized knowledge, or because the number of extensions makes the final product unwieldy. I propose a return to a basic eclectic paradigm, which I refer to as “EP‐lite,” that can then be complemented by other frameworks and theories as needed. In a similar vein, the growing number of sub‐categories of ownership advantages does not in itself provide greater clarity. Besides, the “correct” definition of what constitute O advantages is relative to the purpose for which it is being used.
Andreas Al-Laham has been holding the chair for strategic and international management at the University of Mannheim since September 2009. After his studies of economics and business administration at the Technical University of Dortmund he received his PhD (1996) and Habilitation (2000) degree at the same University, Faculty of Business Administration, Chair of Strategic and International Management. From 2000 to 2002 he worked as a visiting research scholar and visiting professor for strategic management and organizational theory at the J.L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, Canada. Afterward he became professor of international management and business policy at the University of Stuttgart. In 2004 he took a professorship of strategic management at the CASS Business School, City University of London, UK. Up till today, he is visiting professor for General Management and International Strategy. Between 2006 and 2009 he held the chair for management and international strategy at the University of Kaiserslautern. He has written several books, for example! Strategisches Management. Theoretische Grundlagen-Prozesse-Implementierung (together with M. K. Welge), Organisationales Wissensmanagement. Vahlens Handbücher der Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaft, Praxis des strategischen Managements (together with M. K. Welge and P. Kajüter) and Strategieprozesse in deutschen Unternehmungen. His current research focuses on evolutionary dynamics in the German biotech-industry, alliances and network dynamics as well as the internationalization of SME.
Despite the importance of high-technology firms to the global economy, relatively little is known about factors contributing to these firms’ long-run growth. We examine…
Despite the importance of high-technology firms to the global economy, relatively little is known about factors contributing to these firms’ long-run growth. We examine these factors using a unique longitudinal dataset combining two waves of detailed surveys of 345 UK high-tech firms with performance data from UK official datasets. Overall we conclude that the early strategic decisions made by firms have long-run impacts on their subsequent growth, and we suggest that policy measures targeted at shortfalls faced by these firms may have positive long-term consequences.
Florence Nightingale was one of the most influential women of the 19th century. She is most closely associated with the Crimean War and the subsequent development of the nursing profession. Before shewent to the Crimea, she had experienced episodes of depression. While in the Crimea she contracted brucellosis and although she returned to England a national heroine, she lived the life of an invalid for several decades. Despite her physical and mental health problems, she produced over 200 reports, pamphlets and books, not just on nursing, but on a wide variety of other topics. This phenomenal productivity has led some authors to suggest that she may have had bipolar disorder.
Economic activity is typically provided by three distinct sectors. For-profit entities seek to maximize owner profit by providing various goods and services. The…
Economic activity is typically provided by three distinct sectors. For-profit entities seek to maximize owner profit by providing various goods and services. The not-for-profit sector consists of private or quasi-public entities that provide goods and services without regard to making an explicit profit. Government entities extract resources from the economy and redistribute them to achieve certain public goods.
Recently a fourth or gray sector has developed that combines elements of the other three. As a corporate form that explicitly sacrifices profit maximization to advance some predetermined social good, benefit corporations are one example of this gray sector. Owners are aware of this dual mission but still invest as the social objectives are consistent with their personal goals. Thus, the benefit corporation can be viewed as a for-profit entity subject to an explicit social welfare constraint.
Since the late 1960s governments have spent trillions of dollars on a wide variety of social welfare programs. Nevertheless, poverty persists and government altruism may have made poverty more intractable in some respects. Economic logic suggests that providing social welfare transfer payments with few work or training requirements can make recipients dependent and enable dysfunctional behavior. Over time this may rob recipients of opportunities for labor and self-sufficiency.
Benefit corporations are typically viewed as a form of socially responsible investment that leverages the economic advantages of market-based systems. To date, however, little has been written about the benefit corporation’s potential ethical dimensions. The purpose of this paper is to provide a moral argument based in Catholic Social Teaching to support the use of benefit corporations as a substitute for some government service programs. Our arguments are centered on the primary principle of Human Dignity and will include, but not be limited to: Work, Solidarity and there role social and economic society as well as the Role of Government or Subsidiarity (including the Welfare State).
This paper considers the East India Company’s emergence as a territorial power from the 1760s until the revocation of most of its commercial functions in 1834. While this…
This paper considers the East India Company’s emergence as a territorial power from the 1760s until the revocation of most of its commercial functions in 1834. While this period has been a key episode for historians of the British Empire and of South Asia, social scientists have struggled with the Company’s ambiguous nature. In this paper, I propose that a profitable way to grasp the Company’s transformation is to consider it as a global strategic action field. This perspective clarifies two key processes in the Company’s transition: the enlargement of its territorial possessions; and the increased exposure of its patrimonial network to intervention from British metropolitan politics. To further suggest the utility of this analytic perspective, I synthesize evidence from various sources, including data concerning the East India Court of Directors and the career histories of Company servants in two of its key administrative regions, Bengal and Madras, during this period of transition.