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Publication Detail
An epistemological evaluation of research into projects and their management: methodological issues
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Smyth HJ, Morris PWG
  • Publisher:
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    423, 436
  • Journal:
    International Journal of Project Management
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Keywords:
    Bodies of Knowledge, Causality, Empiricism, Methodology, Paradigm, Positivism, Critical Realism, Theory
  • Addresses:
  • Notes:
    Imported via OAI, 7:29:01 20th Jun 2007
A unified theory of the management of projects does not exist. Projects are context-specific and located in open-systems. While this is now widely acknowledged, research methodologies often continue to overlook this. This paper addresses methodological issues that have yet to be fully resolved in research in projects and their management and evaluates how these issues have a direct and indirect impactupon research and practice. We argue that the pursuit of explanations that rely upon identifying general patterns based upon cause and effect marginalises the particular, while a focus upon the particular frustrates the emergence of common patterns, shared meanings and normative recommendations. The paper reviews research practice in the light of project management paradigms and their more generalepistemological underpinnings.
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