#31 An Essay on ‘Homo Projecticus’

After number thirty, comes number thirty-one!

Today, Anders Söderholm and I got a manuscript accepted for publication in International Journal of Project Management. The manuscript is called “An Essay on ‘Homo Projecticus’: Ontological Assumptions in the Projectified Society” and argues for a need to consider the individual as ontologically different from what previous decision-making ontologies have suggested.

I think it became a pretty nice read, which is mainly to be attributed to Anders. As always, it was a great pleasure to collaborate. Unfortunately, the essay will most probably not be available until next year. Until it is available, the abstract may serve as a teaser.


This essay argues that as a consequence of the projectified society there is the need to consider the individual as inherently different from what rational and administrative decision-making ontologies suggest. ’Homo Projecticus’ is introduced as a new set of ontological assumptions, and the aim of this essay is to outline its characteristics and discuss its implications. In contrast to previous assumptions, we argue that the projectified society produces action seeking individuals who are guided by the notion that life is organized within multiple temporal contexts that both follow each other and exist in parallel. Thus, a key concern is how to create boundaries, or limits, in ways that enable action. Two key mechanisms are used: ‘time bracketing’ to define time limits, and ‘scope bracketing’ to define issues or tasks. Consequently, with an aim of completing tasks through appropriate actions, the rationality guiding decision-making and actions is ‘bounded by brackets’, which means that, in contrast to previous ontologies, the limits for rationality are created by the decision-makers themselves. Through bracketing, sensible segments are created, which enables action to be reached.