Theoretical Foundations of Project Management

Jonas Söderlund

in The Oxford Handbook of Project Management

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199563142
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management

Theoretical Foundations of Project Management

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  • Business and Management
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This article presents a story and analysis of project management as a scientific field, its theoretical foundations, and some avenues for the future. It is a story about fragmentation, progress, and pluralism, i.e. the acknowledgement of a diversity of views and perspectives. The article, first, presents a summary of the present state of theorizing within the area, arguing that a number of different schools of thought and perspectives can be identified that give a better account of the developments made in the past ten to fifteen years compared to the common distinction into either rationalistic or organization theory traditions. Second, it discusses the importance of types and typologies in project management and suggests that there is a need to frame the specific phenomenon under study to seek commonalities and explore the differences among projects.

Keywords: project management; theoretical foundation; pluralism; organization theory traditions; commonalities; fragmentation

Article.  10467 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Operations Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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