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Publication Detail
Research and the future of project management.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to reflect on some of the fundamental project management (PM) research issues facing PM as a discipline. It aims to pose fundamental questions about where PM research has been heading over the last five decades and how it can remain relevant in supporting the delivery of sustainable value to its clients and key stakeholders. Design/methodology/approach – This is accomplished through reflection on over four decades of experience as a PM researcher and inquisitive observer of PM practice and research trends over that time. Findings – Key findings from this process of retrospection hinges on an argument for appreciating the relevance of theoretically based and empirically grounded PM research that is focused upon project outcomes. Researchers' efforts should be directed towards developing PM practices that help PM practitioners improve their ability to both efficiently deliver projects and effectively optimise benefits; this requires managing the project definition (front-end development) as well as execution. Research limitations/implications – As a retrospective research note, this does not specifically scrutinise or promote any specific research approach; rather it traces research themes so that the general flow of five decades of investigation of PM can be broadly appreciated. Originality/value – The value of this research note lies in its discussion of ontology, epistemology, and methodology together with a useful map of PM research themes over the past 50 years.
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