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The Scandinavian Turn of Project Research: Reflections on History and Future Directions
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Jönköping International Business School.
Mid Sweden University.
2015 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In retrospect it appears that there was a turn in project research during the late 1980’s and beginning of the 1990’s. The subsequent movement—centered on applying organization theory approaches to projects—is now coming of age. In this paper we focus on the ‘coming of age’ notion by describing trajectories for the ‘Scandinavian School of Project Management’—where it comes from, how it has developed over time, and ultimately reflecting on the question if the movement still exists. In doing so, we juxtapose the emergent ideas with a more structured research programme that came out of the UK around 2006. The main questions addressed concern a) on what these two streams of research have been founded, b) how they have evolved, and c) their influence. Our purpose is to describe and analyze important parts of the contemporary development of project research and to outline potential and plausible directions for the future. The results, which are partly based on a survey distributed to 27 active and well-renowned project researchers around the world, shows that there are signs that the once novel notion of the Scandinavian school has now developed to become normal science in the Kuhn (1970) sense of the expression. Taking on a Kuhnian perspective of the development we sketch two different but parallel types of directions for the future. The first type is to be described as ‘research as usual’, consisting of refinements in line with previous studies along the lines of current practices. The second type is based on how scientific revolutions, potentially also triggered by developments in other scientific areas, might develop to foster new and future directions—a development here tentatively called, a ‘Neo-Scandinavian School of Project Research’.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-107634OAI: diva2:848514
23rd Nordic Academy of Management Conference - NFF 2015 – Business In Society,Copenhagen Business School, 12-14 August 2015
Available from: 2015-08-25 Created: 2015-08-25 Last updated: 2016-06-15Bibliographically approved

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