The emergent realities of project praxis in socially complex project envrionments

Small, J and Walker, D 2010, 'The emergent realities of project praxis in socially complex project envrionments', International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 147-156.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title The emergent realities of project praxis in socially complex project envrionments
Author(s) Small, J
Walker, D
Year 2010
Journal name International Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Volume number 3
Issue number 1
Start page 147
End page 156
Total pages 10
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of a completed doctoral action research thesis that moved beyond focussing on the instrumentality of project actuality to explore project praxis as social process. Design/methodology/approach - Soft systems methodology is selected as the process of enquiry for the thesis, to explore a perceived complex problematic situation. A conceptual framework is designed to guide thinking to explore the social nature of projects, through acknowledging the interconnected nature of human realities, the pragmatism of knowledge and the emergent nature of cognition. Findings - The paper reveals the reality of project complexity as being socially derived, necessitating an emergent project management response to the inherent differences created from human plurality. Organisational resilience emerged as dependent upon recognising and successfully managing the evolving cognition that arises from a multiplicity of human and project environmental interconnections. Practical implications - The project context plays a significant role in determining project outcomes. Projects, as social process will benefit from a PM strategy that adaptively responds to manage the power and politics inherent in project practice, particularly in contexts involving socially disparate stakeholders. Originality/value - The research is implemented in a Middle Eastern setting where local cultural constraints add to organisational and project complexity caused by socio-cultural differences in an expatriate workforce. Portraying projects as ┬┐complex adaptive systems - has facilitated a shift in project management thinking from traditional linear, inflexible models, towards approaches which can more ably accommodate for human diversity in project practice.
Subject Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Keyword(s) project management
change management
social processes
Middle East
DOI - identifier 10.1108/17538371011014071
ISSN 1753-8378
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Created: Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 16:09:00 EST by Catalyst Administrator
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