Projects are all around us, from the research paper we are currently working on to the major organizational changes we observe in companies. They are a purposeful, time-limited integration of diverse knowledge to reach a unique outcome, and therefore, useful vehicles to manage deliberate change initiatives within and beyond organisations, from the launch of a new product to the acquisition of a new firm.
Especially in the 2000s we have seen a rapid expansion of project management, popularization and use of project management across different businesses, so that project and project management has become more and more crucial not only to organisations but to society and economy. However, project management is not new. The deliberate management of projects emerged in the 1950s from the pragmatic need to improve execution of large and complex undertakings, with high degree of novelty and uncertainty.
An umbrella of tools, techniques and procedures, such as work breakdown structures, network plans, PERT (program evaluation and review technique), and Gantt charts have been developed since then. These techniques and methods typically form the foundation of many of the textbooks and bodies of knowledge in project management. However, today project management comprises a broad set of topics and people have generally argued for the idea of relabeling the entire knowledge domain to cover different levels of analysis and topics outside the conventional and narrow definitions of project management. This collection is a response to such calls – although we have kept the original term ‘project management’. In that respect, it covers both the classic viewpoints of planning structuring and success and the more recent empirical works and theoretical developments on projects. In addition, we present some of the broader work on the institutional context of projects, including organising and managing project-based firms, knowledge transfer and inter-project learning and the role of portfolio and programme management
This new four volume collection from Routledge, edited by Joana Geraldi (Cranfield University, UK) and Jonas Soderlund (Norwegian Business School) will capture the emergence of project management as an academic field, and portray the current streams of thinking in the area. Including a new introduction and fully indexed, the volumes will provide the reader with a solid background to the knowledge about developments of the field and expose the reader to its key debates, theoretical and empirical variety.
Part 1: The nature of projects and project management research
Part 2: Project management and performance
Part 3: Project management approaches and control
Part 4: Broadening the horizon of project management
Part 5: The human side of project management
Part 6: Projects in Context
Part 7: Project-based organization and learning