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The construction of research questions in project management
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. (Triple ED)
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Project Management, ISSN 0263-7863, Vol. 30, no 7, 804-816 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article examines how opportunities for contributions are created in project research. In the article the arguments that underlie research question constructions are analyzed and their role in theory construction is reflected upon. The analysis is based upon a review of 61 papers published between 2007 and 2011 in the four major project management outlets. The results show that questions identify gaps and extend literature rather than challenge the theoretical assumptions. It is argued that the dominance of “gap spotting” hampers the development of the project field by producing theories that do not challenge long-held, sometimes possibly false, assumptions. Researchers are therefore urged to become bolder in their claims, some suggestions on how to achieve this are offered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2012. Vol. 30, no 7, 804-816 p.
Keyword [en]
Research question construction, Project theory, Gap spotting, Problematization, Interesting theory
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-54173DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2012.01.005ISI: 000309016300007OAI: diva2:516282
Available from: 2012-04-17 Created: 2012-04-17 Last updated: 2012-10-26Bibliographically approved

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