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Managing and Working in Project Society
Institutional Challenges of Temporary Organizations


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  • Date Published: April 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107434462

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About the Authors
  • In this book, leading authorities on project organizing explore the growing deployment of projects and other types of temporary organizations, with a focus on the challenges created by projectification. The way projects are coordinated and handled influences the success of innovation and change within organizations and is critical for strategic development in our societies, yet it is often at odds with the institutions of traditional industrial society. Drawing on both theoretical perspectives and real-world cases, this book sheds light on the transformation toward a project society and explores the effects, opportunities, and conflicts it has created. As change continues, the authors make a case for renewing institutions and mind-sets and provide a foundation from which to discuss societal changes for the future. This is an invaluable book for researchers and students in project management and organizational theory programs, as well as professionals involved in the management of projects.

    • Provides a societal view of projectification, exploring managing and working in project society and lifts from traditional project management perspectives to present an important new perspective to be observed by researchers, students and practitioners
    • Focuses on institutions, putting the existing institutions of industrial society at the fore, and providing bases for discussing societal changes in the future
    • Breaks down the concept of 'project' to explore the contexts in which projects appear and to examine what is happening in society at large, including adapting to ICT development
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    • Winner, 2016 David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award, Project Management Institute

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Project Society: a utopia or a dystopia? The authors of this book avoid such extremes, which, though attracting attention, do little to prepare people for actual changes in their working lives. Well-balanced, well-documented and rich in insights, this text analyzes systematically and creatively one of the central phenomena of our times. It should be read by practitioners and theoreticians alike; by students and professors. The transformation has already started.' Barbara Czarniawska, Torsten and Ragnar Söderberg Professor of Management Studies, Gothenburg Research Institute, University of Gothenburg

    'Kudos for this masterful integration of project scholarship to make a persuasive case for the emergence of Project Society. The authors comprehensively employ three organizational archetypes for project organizing to explain how each is uniquely suited to specific project work contexts illustrated by rich cases of practice. Overall, this volume combines both a breadth and depth of scholarship that should appeal to the diverse scholarly communities whose work is skillfully integrated in each chapter.' Robert DeFillippi, Sawyer Business School, Suffolk University, Massachusetts

    'This book uniquely draws together evidence and insights with regards to the apparent projectification of our societies. The book benefits from the extensive knowledge of projects and managing projects of the authors, conveyed here through an interdisciplinary perspective. The book is unashamedly polemical making the case for greater engagement with projectification in societies. I am certain this book will provoke further debate which will have significant implications for project theory and practice.' Mark Hughes, Reader in Organizational Change, CROME, Brighton Business School

    'Projects are a critical part of daily life and support our constant need to expand infrastructure, improve living conditions, and thrive in an interconnected economy. Within myriad public and private sector companies, this movement toward the 'projectification' of operations promises benefits and concomitant challenges. Written by eminent scholars and leading-edge thinkers and coming at a particularly auspicious time, this book tackles, head-on, our necessary reorientation in thinking and behaving to gain benefit from a project environment.' Jeffrey K. Pinto, PhD, Andrew Morrow and Elizabeth Lee Black Chair in the Management of Technology, Black School of Business, Pennsylvania State University

    'The authors of this informative book correctly emphasize that as more of our work is carried out in flexible projects rather than stable industrial frameworks, existing institutional supports - including labor laws, education, market relations and political systems - must be reimagined and reconfigured if the potential of the new forms is to be realized.' W. Richard Scott, Stanford University, California

    'Many authors seem to be interested in telling others how project should be managed. Fewer are telling people how we should understand the challenges associated with the project society. This is focus of this book - to give us a new lens to understand our projects and the society in which we live. A group of international researchers have joined forces to write this book. I thank them for doing so. The book is much needed.' Jonas Söderlund, BI Norwegian Business School

    'The use of projects in all areas of both work and play is now endemic, in business, culture, sport and family life. This creates a need for understanding how the new projectified world should be managed, but also how it impacts society in general and people's lives. This book is timely, giving a review of what those impacts are and how to deal with them in practice.' J. Rodney Turner, Editor of International Journal of Project Management

    'We experience an increasing prevalence of projects in all sectors of society. Therefore, management of projects is highly relevant, for private organisations and for organisations in the public and not-for-profit sectors. This book provides great insights in the ongoing transformation together with causes, effects, opportunities and threats. It takes us on a journey to a new world called 'Project Society', where dynamic change is mainly performed through projects. Buckle up and let the journey start!' Reinhard Wagner, President of IPMA (International Project Management Association)

    '[The authors] synthesiz[e] a broad constellation of research streams and industry studies to offer readers an invaluable, comprehensive overview of how project-based organizing is transforming work and society. … The authors focus attention on the collective nature of project-based work, and the networks of individuals and institutions that make viable a project society. This includes the professional societies that provide standardized accreditation and training processes, and in turn, drive the 'projectification' of society. The authors also provide a useful roadmap for future research.' Elizabeth Long Lingo, Organization Studies

    'This is one of the best books about project management that I have read in years. It's also one of the most important … this book belongs on the bookshelf of every leader in the project management profession worldwide, everyone researching some aspect of project management, every student of project management, every executive of a project-based organization, and every practicing project management professional who plans to stay in the field.' David L. Pells, Project Management World Journal

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107434462
    • length: 288 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface: contents in a nutshell
    1. Project organizing and industrial organization - transformation dilemmas
    2. Projectification trends and organizational archetypes
    3. Managing in Project Society
    4. Work and employment regimes in Project Society
    5. Institutions and projectification
    6. Trends and theory implications

  • Authors

    Rolf A. Lundin, Jönköping International Business School
    Rolf A. Lundin is Professor Emeritus of Business Administration at Jönköping International Business School and Courtesy Professor-in-Residence at Umeå School of Business and Economics. He has received several prizes and awards for his research on projects and temporary organizations, including the 2014 Project Management Institute Research Achievement Award. He has published widely, with a concentration on temporary organizations, and has edited numerous special issues of journals focusing on the area of projects. Currently, his main focus is on innovative research on projects and temporary organizations.

    Niklas Arvidsson, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm
    Niklas Arvidsson is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Sustainability and Industrial Dynamics at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He has also been working as a management consultant for over five years. His research is focused on innovation, learning and change in organizations and industrial systems, with a particular interest in processes in which currently dominating ideas and practices are replaced by new ones.

    Tim Brady, University of Brighton
    Tim Brady is Professor of Innovation in the Centre for Research in Innovation Management at Brighton Business School, the University of Brighton, and Visiting Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering Management at the University of Oulu, Finland. He was a member of the EPSRC-funded Rethinking Project Management network, and Deputy Director of the ESRC-funded CoPS Innovation Centre. His current research interests include the development of new business models for infrastructure, the management of complex projects and programs, and learning and capability development in project-based business.

    Eskil Ekstedt, Uppsala Universitet, Sweden
    Eskil Ekstedt is Professor in Business Administration and Associate Professor in Economic History at Uppsala Universitet, Sweden. He was the founding editor of the Scientific Publication series, Work Life in Transition, and the project leader of several major research programs dealing with knowledge formation, and organizational and local economic development. His research has focused on knowledge formation, temporary organizations and structural change of business and work life.

    Christophe Midler, Ecole Polytechnique, Paris
    Christophe Midler is Research Director at the French National Research Council (CNRS) and Professor of Innovation Management at École Polytechnique, Paris. He has received many prizes and awards for his research on project organizing, among them Doctor Honoris Causa at Umeå University, Sweden, and the 2013 PMI Research Achievement Award. His research topics include project management and innovation management in relation to organizational theory and strategy, exploring them in various industrial contexts.

    Jörg Sydow, Freie Universität Berlin
    Jörg Sydow is Professor of Management and Chair for Inter-firm Cooperation at the School of Business and Economics, Freie Universität Berlin, and a Visiting Professor at Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow. He is a founding co-editor of two leading German academic journals, Managementforschung and Industrielle Beziehungen and is a member of several editorial boards. His current research interests are management and organization theory, interorganizational relations and networks, innovation and project management, and industrial relations.


    • Winner, 2016 David I. Cleland Project Management Literature Award, Project Management Institute

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