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Sustainability in Project Management: Eight principles in practice
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This research studies the eight principles of sustainability applied in Project Management. To be more precise the research fulfils four objectives which are: firstly, to review and identify key principles of sustainability in project management from existing literature; secondly, to adopt a multiple case study method to assess the applicability of the principles in project management; thirdly, to determine the barriers that impede certain principles to be applied in projects and the resulting trade-offs; and lastly, to refine the concept of sustainability in project management.The study adopts a subjectivist ontological viewpoint and an interpretivist epistemological outlook. The paper deductively studies the research question and adopts a qualitative mono-method research design, with a multiple case study strategy. The project case studies analysed belong to six different industries namely Pharmaceutical, Information Technology (IT), Automotive, Transportation, Furniture and Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG). All case studies fulfil the criteria of being multinational organisations, operating in the private sector, having sustainability as a strategic pillar and projects executed in developed countries with a similar macroeconomic climate. The data has been collected through the semi-structured interview technique and examined using a thematic analysis. The results show that not all eight principles of sustainability are implemented in project management despite of multiple proactive endeavours of engaging in social and environmentally focused business practices. The two principles that show a limited applicability in project management are values and ethics as well as consuming income and not capital.The theoretical contribution of the research is realised through the first collective analysis of the eight principles of sustainability and their implementation in project management through empirical case studies. An additional contribution is through the selection of case studies from industries that have not been examined before. The practical implication of the research is to offer guidance to organisations on what principles they need to build their sustainability project management practices on and to point out the commonly faced barriers and trade-offs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 102 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainability, sustainable development, project, project management, CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-115219OAI: diva2:899231
2016-01-12, Umea, 08:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-02-17 Created: 2016-02-01 Last updated: 2016-02-17Bibliographically approved

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