Projects-as-practice: a Deweyan perspective

Linda Buchan, Barbara Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article contributes a practice-based approach to Project Management by opening up to the messiness and unpredictabilities involved in actually doing project work. Drawing on the Pragmatist ideas of John Dewey, we theorize projects-as-practices (noun) and projects-as-practice (verb) as complementary concepts that are built respectively on ontologies of being and becoming. For the purposes of this paper, we define the notion of ‘project’ as an emergent social process of becoming, bounded in time and space, and generative of novel outcomes. We also contribute methodologically by proposing Dewey’s ‘Inquiry’ as a guide to shadowing the bounded becomingness of projects-as-practice (verb). Using an empirical illustration from a Health and Social Care Partnership in Scotland, we highlight the inherently emergent nature of projects as they bring about transformational change.
LanguageEnglish
JournalProject Management Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

Project management
Ontology
Health
Social processes
Social care
Healthcare
Scotland
Management by project

Keywords

  • projects-as-practice
  • becoming ontology
  • pragmatism
  • inquiry
  • shadowing the situation

Cite this

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Projects-as-practice : a Deweyan perspective. / Buchan, Linda; Simpson, Barbara.

In: Project Management Journal, 18.10.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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