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Replacing Project Managers in Information Technology Projects: Contradictions that Explain the Phenomenon


  • Kirsi Liikamaa

    (University of Turku, Pori, Finland)

  • Tero Vartiainen

    (University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

  • Maritta Pirhonen

    (University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland)

  • Heli Aramo-Immonen

    (Tampere University of Technology, Pori, Finland)


According to anecdotal evidence, project managers working on information technology (IT) projects are occasionally replaced, although the literature on information systems (IS) and project management (PM) makes little mention of it. With a view to narrowing this knowledge gap the authors examined the reasons behind the practice. The authors took an interpretive approach to the data gathering and analysis, and collected descriptions about replacing project managers (RPM) from interviews and questionnaires (n=43). The concept of contradiction served as a lens through which to identify the underlying reasons. Contradiction refers to statements asserting or expressing the opposite of another statement. The authors identified four contradictions explaining why RPM occurs in IT projects. These contradictions show that RPM appears to be a simplistic solution when there are more fundamental issues to consider. The implications extend to education, practice, and research in the context of IT project management.

Suggested Citation

  • Kirsi Liikamaa & Tero Vartiainen & Maritta Pirhonen & Heli Aramo-Immonen, 2015. "Replacing Project Managers in Information Technology Projects: Contradictions that Explain the Phenomenon," International Journal of Human Capital and Information Technology Professionals (IJHCITP), IGI Global, vol. 6(3), pages 1-19, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jhcitp:v:6:y:2015:i:3:p:1-19

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