Project studies beyond the straitjacket

It is often claimed that “the sequel is never as good as the original“. This might be true for movies or book sequels, but when it comes to research publications, old ideas can definitely be developed and improved. In 2011, Anders and I published our first “straitjacket” article. The article was called “Breaking out of the straitjacket of project research: in search of contribution” and encouraged researchers in the project domain to broaden their perspectives, draw inspiration from more general management theories, and try make more impact on other research domains. The analysis and arguments we proposed drew inspiration from the 1971 article by Davis, “That’s interesting“, where he outlines what makes theories interesting, and sometimes even famous. Our paper was in 2012 awarded with an Outstanding Paper Award at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence. Today, we got the sequel of this paper published in Project Management Journal©. In the new article we continue where we ended in 2011 and provide, what we have called, an “escape artist’s manual” consisting of strategies and practices for how researchers could think about and design project studies to enable contribution beyond the home domain. In other words, this time we do not only argue that it should be done, but explain how it could be done.

The forthcoming article is called “Project studies beyond the straitjacket:
An escape artist’s manual” and will be published in a special issue on Advancing Theory and Debate in Project Studies. As authors, we believe that the sequel is actually better than the original. Read them both and give us your opinion!

This is the abstract:

This article provides insights into ways in which project studies can be extended to make further impact on, and contributions to, other research domains including more general management and organization studies. Inspired by literature on phenomenology of science, publication practices, logics of research communities, and theory building, we analyze some examples of project studies that reach beyond the project domain. Based on this analysis, we present an “escape artist’s manual” consisting of strategies and practices for how researchers could think about and design project studies to enable contribution beyond the home domain.

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