Projects, Paradigms and Predictability

Nightingale, Paul and Brady, Tim (2011) Projects, Paradigms and Predictability In: Cattani, Gino, Ferriani, Simone, Frederiksen, Lars and Täube, Florian, eds. Project-Based Organizing and Strategic Management. Advances in Strategic Management, ISSN 0742-3322 (Volume 28). Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 83-112. ISBN 9781780521923

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Abstract

This chapter compares and contrasts the diverse theoretical foundations of two paradigms in strategic project management. The first, older paradigm, draws on foundational ideas about nature (i.e., it is predictable) and human rationality (strategy and implementation are distinct) to conceptualize project management in terms of controlling predictable project processes and their inherent risks, so that project managers can optimize the trade-offs between timing, cost and quality. The second practice-based alternative paradigm conceptualizes people as sources of deterministic behavior in an otherwise often unpredictable world. Projects are key tools that are used to strategically create this predictable behavior, with project plans being used as scaffolding to help co-ordinate the distributed behavior of systemically connected people in space and time as the project proceeds. The chapter highlights how this second paradigm has a more robust scientific basis, shows how it informed the development of the Heathrow T5 project, and draws implications of for future theory and practice.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Uncontrolled Keywords: Strategic project management; Predictability; Heathrow Terminal 5; Innovation; CENTRIM
Subjects: N000 Business and Management > N200 Management studies > N210 Management techniques > N211 Strategic management
N000 Business and Management > N200 Management studies > N210 Management techniques > N215 Change and Innovation
N000 Business and Management > N200 Management studies > N210 Management techniques > N213 Project management
DOI (a stable link to the resource): 10.1108/S0742-3322(2011)0000028008
Faculties: Brighton Business School > Centre for Research in Innovation Management
Depositing User: editor centrim
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2011 16:09
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2012 14:10
URI: http://eprints.brighton.ac.uk/id/eprint/9530

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