Towards rethinking project portfolio management

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

See relations at Aarhus University


Lars Kristian Hansen - Lecturer

Per Svejvig - Lecturer

Encouraged by resents years’ increased interest in project portfolio management (PPM), this paper conducts a review of two stocks of highly regarded publications on PPM — one stock representing most cited publications of all years, and the second representing the most cited publications from the last five years. Utilizing the theoretical lens proposed by Svejvig and Andersen (2015), we apply two complementary analytical perspectives to classify and analyze the stocks. One perspective, denoted as classical project management (CPM), highlights key characteristics of conventional research. A second perspective, denoted as rethinking project management (RPM), highlights characteristics of progressive research. Not surprisingly, characteristics from CPM are very dominant in the stock of most cited publications of all years — instrumentality and controllability in particular. In the newest stock, the aforementioned characteristics remain cornerstones, but are much less dominant. Instead, the RPM concept uncertainty seems to have conquered the agenda. Furthermore, based on our data we identify the following emerging trends: 1) increased focus on human actors, 2) broader accept of alternatives to rational explanations, 3) increased focus on adapting to a faster changing world. The limitations of our research are several, among these the limited size and timespan of our sample, and the scope of the utilized theoretical lens. Nevertheless, we argue that our research serves as a starting point to reveal overarching conjunctures of the discipline’s legacy and current knowledge base. As such, this paper modestly contributes to conceptual clarification of what we know and proposes directions for future research.
21 Jun 2018

Event (Conference)



  • project portfolio management, literature review, Rethinking project management

ID: 128494553