Implementing Strategy through Projects

Christoph Loch and Stylianos Kavadias

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

Implementing Strategy through Projects

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The realization is growing that projects fail not only because of incompetent execution, but also, and frequently, because of a muddled strategic context, inadequate scope, or unarticulated—and thus unresolved—tensions and/or trade-offs among the project stakeholders. This realization has a straightforward message: project managers could benefit a great deal from expanding their activity to account for strategy alignment and organizational enablers. This article proposes that this view, although a step forward, still decouples project management from strategy-making. It implies that the business people set the outcomes and charter, and project management executes. Yet, this view misses the fact that strategy is not made only “at the top” and then cascaded down. In a world of increasing uncertainty, volatility, and interdependence across forms, industries, and countries, strategy is emergent; it has to adjust to events as they occur.

Keywords: strategy implementation; project managers; strategy-making; project stakeholders; business tensions; strategy alignment

Article.  9845 words. 

Subjects: Business and Management ; Business Strategy ; Operations Management

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