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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Mandy Singer-Brodowski

This paper’s purpose is to describe students’ learning processes in a project-based and self-organized seminar on sustainability. A detailed knowledge of typical learning…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper’s purpose is to describe students’ learning processes in a project-based and self-organized seminar on sustainability. A detailed knowledge of typical learning processes is part of a pedagogical content knowledge of sustainability and can therefore contribute to the professional development of university educators.

Design/methodology/approach

In a project-based and self-organized seminar, a case study has been conducted with the grounded theory’s methodological approach. Data were collected from student interviews, group discussions and observations of students’ planning and organization meetings.

Findings

The results of the case study show that students’ learning processes vary depending on their pre-seminar sustainability experiences. Two types have been established: sustainability newcomers and sustainability experts. Furthermore, the results indicate the importance of emotions in the involvement with sustainability.

Research limitations/implications

The significance of the case study is limited by a small number of cases. Also, the results are specific for a seminar self-organized by the students and can therefore not simply be transferred to other seminars.

Practical implications

Knowledge of specific learning processes and a possible conceptual change in sustainability classes could be an important issue in the professional development of university educators because it would increase the educators’ pedagogical content knowledge.

Originality/value

The triangulation of qualitative data mainly served the investigation of students’ perspectives and therefore the understanding of subjective preferences, experiences and learning processes in the field of higher education for sustainable development (HESD).

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 12 October 2011

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

Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

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…

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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.

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2018

Carolin Auschra, Timo Braun, Thomas Schmidt and Jörg Sydow

The creation of a new venture is at the heart of entrepreneurship and shares parallels with project-based organizing: embedded in an institutional context, founders have…

Abstract

Purpose

The creation of a new venture is at the heart of entrepreneurship and shares parallels with project-based organizing: embedded in an institutional context, founders have to assemble a team that works on specified tasks within a strict time constraint, while the new venture undergoes various transitions. The purpose of this paper is to explore parallels between both streams of research and an increasing projectification of entrepreneurship.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based upon a case study of the Berlin start-up ecosystem including the analysis of interviews (n=52), secondary documents, and field observations.

Findings

The paper reveals that – shaped by their institutional context – patterns of project-like organizing have become pertinent to the new venture creation process. It identifies a set of facets from the entrepreneurial ecosystems – more specifically different types of organizational actors, their occupational backgrounds, and epistemic communities – that enable and constrain the process of new venture creation in a way that is typical for project-based organizing.

Originality/value

This study thus elaborates on how institutional settings enforce what has been called “projectification” in the process of new venture creation and discuss implications for start-up ecosystems.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 June 2017

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.

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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

Book part
Publication date: 12 October 2011

Robert DeFillippi and Mark Lehrer

Project-based organization (PBO) can serve as a temporary organizational form in response to uncertainty or turbulent environmental conditions. An updated retrospective…

Abstract

Project-based organization (PBO) can serve as a temporary organizational form in response to uncertainty or turbulent environmental conditions. An updated retrospective study of the Danish hearing aids maker Oticon illustrates the role of PBO (the so-called spaghetti organization) in guiding the company through a specific period of industry turbulence and the company leader's search for a more effective structure to organize innovation within the company. The spaghetti organization was experimental in two distinct senses. First, the spaghetti organization tested the limits of decentralization, bottom-up self-organizing innovation, and PBO. Inspired by the experience of just how dysfunctional hierarchy could become, Oticon's spaghetti organization tested the limits of nonhierarchy. And unlike the failed Brook Farm utopia of the 1840s, the utopia of radical project-based organizing at Oticon proved highly successful as a means of promoting innovation even if the spaghetti organization was not sustainable in its original form and required subsequent modification. Second, Oticon was essentially a natural experiment testing and refuting the complementarities-based claim that intermediate forms of organization which include elements of both hierarchical organization and team (or project-based) organization are inherently unstable.

Details

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

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2007

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…

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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

Book part
Publication date: 12 October 2011

Joseph Lampel

This chapter proposes an institutional framework for analysis of strategy in project-based organizations. The chapter argues that an analysis of the strategy of…

Abstract

This chapter proposes an institutional framework for analysis of strategy in project-based organizations. The chapter argues that an analysis of the strategy of project-based organizations must take into account the interaction between deliberate and emergent strategic processes in this type of organizations. The chapter then goes on to argue that achieving this goal depends on addressing the ‘multicontextuality’ of project-based organizations – the fact that deliberate strategic processes respond to external environment, while emergent strategic processes are rooted in the organization's project portfolio. Based on this analysis, the chapter advances an institutional framework for analyzing project-based organizations which couples the institutional logic of the external environment, with the institutional logic which emerges from the internal ‘project field’. To explore this framework the chapter analyzes the emergence of the central-producer system in the Hollywood motion picture industry during the first quarter of the 20th century, and the role that Irving Thalberg played in creating this system.

Details

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

Book part
Publication date: 12 October 2011

Andrew Davies, Tim Brady, Andrea Prencipe and Michael Hobday

In this chapter we put projects at the centre stage of firms' activities – i.e. product and process innovation, strategy formulation and implementation, capability…

Abstract

In this chapter we put projects at the centre stage of firms' activities – i.e. product and process innovation, strategy formulation and implementation, capability building and learning, organizational structure and design, and systems integration (the capability to combine diverse knowledge bases and physical components into functioning systems). Based on the findings of a 10-year research programme into firms producing high-value capital goods – known as complex products and systems (CoPS) – we draw out conceptual insights about project organizing that can inform and contribute to the development and reformulation of more universally applicable formal theories of strategic management and organization.

Details

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

Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

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

1 – 10 of over 4000