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Inquiring into the temporary organization: New directions for project management research


  • Packendorff, Johann


The theoretical field of project management (PM) can be described as a set of models and techniques for the planning and control of complex undertakings. The three main shortcomings of PM research and theory are identified as: (1) PM is seen as a general theory and a theoretical field in its own right, (2) research on PM is not sufficiently empirical, and (3) projects are seen as "tools." Instead, a diversity of theoretical perspectives should be employed in field research on "temporary organizations" in order to construct middle-range theories on different types of projects. These proposed future directions call for research on expectations, action and learning in project settings.

Suggested Citation

  • Packendorff, Johann, 1995. "Inquiring into the temporary organization: New directions for project management research," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 319-333, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:scaman:v:11:y:1995:i:4:p:319-333

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincent Salaun & François Fulconis & Nathalie Fabbe-Costes, 2015. "Les festivals musicaux : des organisations temporaires pulsatoires ? Le cas du festival du Bout du Monde," Post-Print hal-01309972, HAL.
    2. Weyer, Birgit, 2011. "Perspectives on optimism within the context of project management: A call for multilevel research," Working Papers 59, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB).
    3. Henrik Herlau & HeLge Tetzschner, 2001. "Securing Knowledge Assets in the Early Phase of Innovation," Working Papers 28/01, University of Southern Denmark, Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics.
    4. Engwall, Mats, 2003. "No project is an island: linking projects to history and context," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 789-808, May.
    5. Galeazzo, Ambra & Furlan, Andrea & Vinelli, Andrea, 2014. "Understanding environmental-operations integration: The case of pollution prevention projects," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 153(C), pages 149-160.
    6. Vincent Salaun, 2014. "Organisation virtuelle éphémère, quelle place pour le management logistique ? Le cas des festivals musicaux," Post-Print hal-01309975, HAL.
    7. Tang, Yi & Wezel, Filippo Carlo, 2015. "Up to standard?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 452-466.
    8. Alexander Budzier & Bent Flyvbjerg, 2013. "Double Whammy - How ICT Projects are Fooled by Randomness and Screwed by Political Intent," Papers 1304.4590,
    9. Agnar Johansen & Petter Eik-Andresen & Andreas Dypvik Landmark & Anandasivakumar Ekambaram & Asbjørn Rolstadås, 2016. "Value of Uncertainty: The Lost Opportunities in Large Projects," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(3), pages 1-17, August.
    10. Johansson, Marjana, 2003. "Performing the 50th anniversary of a Garden City: Staging time, place, and identity," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration 2003:14, Stockholm School of Economics.


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