Projectyness: a spectrum of greater or lesser capability

van der Hoorn, Bronte and Whitty, Stephen J. (2016) Projectyness: a spectrum of greater or lesser capability. International Journal of Project Management, 34 (6). pp. 970-982. ISSN 0263-7863


Grounding in continental philosophical perspectives, and in alignment with the calls to rethink project management, this article reconceptualises what is a project. This conceptual paper uses the theoretical concepts of Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Dawkins as an interpretative lens to consider project work. The findings are that no activity is innately a project. A project is an experience that arises when there is a lack of inherent capability to undertake the activity. It is associated with a projecty experience: spikiness, roughness, and emotional ups and downs. Furthermore, it is found that there is no point of clear distinction between operational and project work: there is a projectyness spectrum. Based on these findings, we identify that project managing is about managing a lack of inherent capability and managing multiple people’s experience (not a single detached activity). Furthermore, the point at which to adopt project management techniques is not definitive.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2016 06:11
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2016 04:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: theory of project management; projectyness; Heidegger; Merleau-Ponty
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2016.05.003

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