Projects-as-practice

A Deweyan perspective

Linda Buchan, Barbara Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProject Management Journal
Early online date8 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Jan 2020

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

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, 08.01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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