Search results

1 – 10 of over 6000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Maxim Miterev, J. Rodney Turner and Mauro Mancini

The purpose of this paper is to use an organizational design perspective to determine the scope of the state-of-the art of research into project-based organizations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use an organizational design perspective to determine the scope of the state-of-the art of research into project-based organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper follows a structured framework-based literature review approach. It uses an analytical framework from the organization design literature to assess 177 papers relevant to the design of the project-based organization that were published in four leading PM journals between 2008 and 2015. The authors determine which elements of organization design are covered in each paper and identify specific research themes for each of the element emerging from the literature. Finally, the authors examine the degree to which interdependencies among separate elements are addressed in the literature and discuss the most holistic papers in more details.

Findings

The results show that the literature on project-based organizations downplays broader organizational issues (such as organizational strategy, incentive schemes and performance management systems) while emphasizing research agenda inherited from research on single project management. In addition, the study highlights limited attention in the literature to the interdependence between separate design choices. Finally, it develops a research framework to map current themes in the literature and their relative importance and discusses a prospective research agenda.

Research limitations/implications

Academic implications stem from looking at the project management literature from a fresh theoretical perspective and putting project-based organization as a whole in the focus. There is a great research potential in studying organization-wide aspects and interdependencies between various organization design choices in project-based organizations.

Practical implications

Reflective practitioners could benefit from a wider view on the project-based organization and its design. They could also use the developed framework in management discussions.

Originality/value

The paper offers a novel way of conceptualizing research on project-based organizations by linking it to an established stream within the field of organization theory and design.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Karin Bredin and Jonas Söderlund

The aim of the article is to analyse HR devolution from HR departments to the line. Two important problems are addressed. The first problem concerns the disregard for the…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the article is to analyse HR devolution from HR departments to the line. Two important problems are addressed. The first problem concerns the disregard for the changes in line management that comes with HR devolution. The second problem addressed deals with the lack of studies of organisational contingencies.

Design/methodolgy/approach

The paper presents and analyses an in‐depth case study of a radically projected firm within the Tetra Park group where a new HR‐oriented management role has been created to replace the traditional line management role. Based on the case study findings, the paper elaborates on the new approach to line management and how a new management role is moulded in the context of project‐based organisations.

Findings

Based on literature studies, the paper identifies four key challenges for HRM in project‐based organisations that are critical for the development of the new approach to line management in such settings. Based on case study observations, it analyses the creation of a new management role – the so called “competence coach” – in project‐based organisation within the Tetra Park group. It argues that the new approach adopted points to the need of breaking out of traditional conceptions of line management, and of developing the concept of an HR‐oriented management role that is a legitimate player in the HR organisation of a firm.

Originality/value

The paper provides a rich case description of a project‐based firm in a HRM perspective. The descriptions and the analysis give practical as well as theoretical implications of HRM issues that arise in project‐based firms, and of changes in line management as a way of developing the capabilities to handle these issues.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 36 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Gino Cattani, Simone Ferriani, Lars Frederiksen and Florian Täube

The last several years have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in project-based organizations. This interest mirrors the diffusion of this organizational form across a…

Abstract

The last several years have witnessed a growing scholarly interest in project-based organizations. This interest mirrors the diffusion of this organizational form across a wide range of industries, well beyond those where organizations traditionally have been organized by projects. To date, however, research on project-based organizations has not yet offered a systematic investigation of the interactions between project-based organizing and strategic management research. An examination of the existing literature indicates that some of the answers to key strategy questions remain incomplete, at times contradictory, and at best ambiguous. This volume moves the discussion to the next level by offering a comprehensive yet integrated view of cutting-edge research on project-based organizing to shed light on some of these ambiguities and clarify the relationship between project-based organizing and strategic management. To accomplish this, the volume includes the contributions of several leading scholars who have been active researchers on this subject. The chapters develop and extend key strategic aspects of project-based organizing, raise many new important questions, and identify fruitful areas for future research.

Details

Project-Based Organizing and Strategic Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-193-0

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Kaj U. Koskinen

The purpose of this paper is to describe project‐based companies' knowledge production and memory development with the help of autopoietic epistemology.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe project‐based companies' knowledge production and memory development with the help of autopoietic epistemology.

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion first defines the concept of a project‐based company. Then the discussion deals with the two epistemological assumptions, namely cognitivist and autopoietic epistemological assumptions. After that there follows an illustration of the concept of organisational memory. The main content of this article follows – namely the study on the autopoietic knowledge production and organisational memory development in the context of project‐based companies.

Findings

Knowledge production in a project‐based company means that an individual team member, a project team and a project‐based company itself produce knowledge consistent with currently shared knowledge. That is, a project‐based company's accumulation of organisational memory at various organisational levels is an expression of change in knowledge that always maintains compatibility between the autopoietic system (i.e. team member, project team or project‐based company) and its environment.

Originality/value

The current theories about knowledge production and organisational memory development in project‐based companies are largely based on the idea of codability and transferability of knowledge between the people and across the borders. This type of thinking is based on the traditional cognitivist epistemology that means that knowledge represents external reality. The new autopoietic approach suggests transition from these theories to the theory of knowledge production as a creational matter, which type of thinking can potentially provide a new explanation for project‐based company's organisational memory.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Kaj U. Koskinen

According to the traditional “stable‐process” problem, the project‐based company's memory and project implementation cannot interact. They remain conceptually distinctly

Abstract

Purpose

According to the traditional “stable‐process” problem, the project‐based company's memory and project implementation cannot interact. They remain conceptually distinctly different entities, the differences stemming from epistemologically different theoretical projects. However, the idea of recursivity within autopoiesis theory and autopoietic epistemology might enable an approach to this problem by bridging the gap. A recursive view of the project‐based company assumes that the memory of the company and the project implementation processes within the company exist at different levels of analysis. They remain analytically distinct from each other, yet they interact in such a way that they are both modified through interaction. Therefore, this paper aims to show that, with the help of a recursive view, it can shed new light on the problem of knowledge production in project‐based companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Knowledge production in project‐based companies is conceptualized with the help of autopoiesis theory and autopoietic epistemology, in that the focus is on the recursivity.

Findings

The idea of recursivity seems to represent explanatory potential by bringing new light to relationships between the project‐based company's memory and project implementations.

Originality/value

Current theories about knowledge production in project‐based companies are largely based on the idea of transferability of knowledge between people and across borders. These theories are challenged by the implications of autopoiesis theory and autopoietic epistemology, which suggest transition from these theories to the theory of knowledge production as a creational matter. That is, autopoietic epistemology and the recursive view within it provide a lens through which individuals may advance their understanding of the dynamics of project‐based companies' knowledge production.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Florence Crespin-Mazet, Karine Goglio-Primard, Malena I. Havenvid and Åse Linné

The purpose of this study is to address the problematic yet under-researched issue of the disconnectedness of the temporary and permanent levels of organisation in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to address the problematic yet under-researched issue of the disconnectedness of the temporary and permanent levels of organisation in project-based firms in terms of learning and innovation diffusion.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a longitudinal case study of a pioneering French construction firm introducing the partnering method in France. Based on an abductive approach, the analytical framework combines insights of the literature on community and networks of practice to investigate the processes and mechanisms of diffusion of innovation in project-based firms.

Findings

The function of semi-permanent organisational levels in connecting the temporary and permanent levels of the firm – the communities of practice (CoPs) and network of practice (NoP) exists besides the formal organization of the firm. As a social learning process, innovation diffusion involves both formal (i.e. vertical) and informal (i.e. horizontal) forms of organising and learning. Intermediary and informal ways of organising enables the embedding of innovation both in terms of content and connections. Foremost, CoPs/NoPs contribute to relational embeddedness. Boundary actors and objects are essential in crossing the different levels of embeddedness to overcome the learning boundaries between temporary projects and the permanent firm.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation is built on a single case study and further empirical research is needed, preferably longitudinal case studies, as this allows greater capture of the diffusion process. The authors suggest further studies using practice-based perspectives to capture the formal and informal ways of organising innovation diffusion.

Practical implications

Managerial interventions should favour the development of the informal dynamics of community and networks to foster both innovation and its diffusion. The managerial challenge lies in creating the right prerequisites for the existence of both the informal community logics of organising and the formal top management decision-making, and to orchestrate their timing in the diffusion process.

Social implications

The study reveals the importance of both formal and informal networks in driving innovation. As such, project-based firms should be aware of these dynamics when striving for change.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literatures on diffusion of innovation, project marketing and construction management. It includes new insights related to the function of intermediary and informal organisational levels of project-based organisations, the dynamics and connection between the temporary and permanent levels of the project-based firm related to communities and networks of practice, and the boundary spanning activities that are involved between the formal and informal levels of the firm.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Anna Jerbrant

With the purpose of enhancing the understanding of multi‐project management, this paper is based on the findings of a doctoral thesis that focuses on the management and…

Abstract

Purpose

With the purpose of enhancing the understanding of multi‐project management, this paper is based on the findings of a doctoral thesis that focuses on the management and organisation of project‐based companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The research presented here is based on an inductive and qualitative case study approach, characterised by an exploratory purpose and based on an in depth analysis of two individual cases.

Findings

The study sheds light on several important aspects for managing and organising the special dynamics that characterise project‐based organisations. The thesis discusses how the balance between structuring mechanisms and the ability to handle the ever‐present uncertainty in project‐based organisations (PBOs) can be understood. This balance is necessary in order to handle the amount of changing requirements – both operational and contextual – during a certain period of time, thereby, being given the opportunity to encourage the organisation's dynamic capability.

Practical implications

This research proposes that the traditional theoretical focus of “How to … ” in project portfolio management is neither adequately efficient, nor sufficient. This view must be complemented with active individual and situated management actions, and the findings encapsulate the importance of the multi‐project management to focus on the balance between creativity, flexibility, and structure.

Originality/value

The profound theoretical ambition with this work is to complement the literature on project‐based organisations with an empirically‐based understanding inspired by organising theory, for both the research and practical execution of multi‐project management from a project‐as‐practice perspective. This research expands the conceptual view on the balance between structuring mechanisms and the ability to handle the ever‐present uncertainty in PBOs.

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Heli Aramo‐Immonen, Kaj U. Koskinen and Pasi L. Porkka

The purpose of this paper is to examine the significance of formal training in project‐based companies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the significance of formal training in project‐based companies.

Design/methodology/approach

First the discussion deals with the concepts of learning, the learning environment, and the motivation to learn in a way in which special focus is on the project team members' motivation to learn. The hypothesis, “People working for project‐based companies are not interested in formal training” is tested by an empirical study, which was conducted on ten Finnish marine and offshore industry companies. Altogether, 54 project team members and project managers attended the multiple‐case study.

Findings

According to the results of the study, formal training is not seen as a necessity among the people working for project‐based companies. This seems to mean that nowadays formal training does not play a significant role in the development of project‐based companies. Further, the people do not necessarily have time to reflect because they are being bombarded by urgent problems and pressing deadlines. A lack of time and a feeling of heavy work load seem to be a normal practise.

Originality/value

Based upon the paper's findings, further research is suggested that would be focussed first on designing integrated learning environments in project‐based companies' processes, and/or second on the training methods utilized, interaction between trainers and project people, and relevancy and efficiency of formal training offered by training organizations to the project‐based companies.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part

Andrew Davies and Lars Frederiksen

This chapter develops a conceptual framework to help us position and understand the increasing importance of project-based innovation for industrial organization in the…

Abstract

This chapter develops a conceptual framework to help us position and understand the increasing importance of project-based innovation for industrial organization in the 21st century. It builds on and extends Joan Woodward's (1958 and 1965) pioneering research, which classifies industrial organizations according to the complexity of production technology and volume of output. We suggest that a radical revision of Woodward's framework is required to account for the extensive use of project-based organizations to gain competitive advantage through accelerated innovation and growth in new technologies and markets.

Details

Technology and Organization: Essays in Honour of Joan Woodward
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-984-8

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article

Maqsood Sandhu and Mian Ajmal

This research aims to investigate the adoption of electronic communication tools and seeks to shed more light on their diffusion process, a challenging task for…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to investigate the adoption of electronic communication tools and seeks to shed more light on their diffusion process, a challenging task for project‐based (PBO) and traditional business organizations (TBO).

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study were collected through three surveys, one total population survey in the Finnish and Swedish house building industries representing traditional business organizations, together with a focused and a total population survey in project‐based organizations.

Findings

The main findings from the survey indicate a difference in attitude between the employees of TBOs and PBOs. Moreover, electronic document management and scheduling were more prominent among PBOs, because these firms exhibit more inter‐organizational communication.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to project‐based and traditional business organizations. The research emphasises the fact that PBOs make more inter‐firm collaboration efforts and thus require more extensive communication systems for inter‐organizational links. Further research is needed in other industries to validate the present findings.

Practical implications

By looking at the use of ICT, the aim was to determine which e‐communication tools are more tightly coupled to management and how firms can benefit most from these tools for organizational governance.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to have examined the uses of ICT in a PBO and TBO context and especially in Finnish and Swedish background.

1 – 10 of over 6000