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Thou shall not underestimate the power of a Gant diagram! An STS approach to PM

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In this paper, we propose that posthumanist and constructivist insights and methods from the field of Science, Technology and Society studies (STS) can contribute to Project Management (PM) research. We argue that a focus on performativity, materiality, power and empirical studies of practice – all central to STS – provides novel approaches to PM. In the analysis and understanding of PM, we should pay attention to how tools, methods and discourses are adapted in the actual PM practices. We argue that we should be equally critical of both the instrumentalist and functionalist ideas of rationalist and managerial approaches to PM, but also of the critiques of those approaches, since they may tend to overemphasize the strengths of rationalist approaches in actual practices. Based on this discussion, we argue that the role of STS in PM research and suggest that maybe we should develop a discourse that is more ‘problem’- than ‘solution’-oriented.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2014
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2014
EventMMaking Projects Critical 7: 7th international workshop on critical studies of project based work, project management and the projectification - KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 23 Jan 201424 Jan 2014


WorkshopMMaking Projects Critical 7
LocationKTH Royal Institute of Technology

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