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  • 1.
    Aegerter Alvarez, Juan Felipe
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Pustina, Aferdita
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Escalating commitment in the death zone: new insights from the 1996 Mount Everest disaster2011In: International Journal of Project Management, ISSN 0263-7863, E-ISSN 1873-4634, Vol. 29, no 8, p. 971-985Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The procession of people and organisations that pour resources into evidently failing causes is surprising and seemingly never-ending. This phenomenon, which is called “escalating commitment” (Staw, 1976), refers to situations in which people are incapable of turning future disasters into sound current decisions. The purpose of this paper is to use the, in project management literature (Kloppenborg and Opfer, 2002), non-traditional case of the 1996 Mt Everest disaster to explain and analyse escalating commitment determinants and processes. Not only does the paper identify and add a determinant to escalation but it also treats determinants and processes in a novel and intertwined fashion. The conceptual developments and findings suggest that escalating commitment strives on conditions that are inherent to any project, which consequently project managers should be aware of. Based on the results project failures could be better explained and understood by examining several explanatory levels simultaneously.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Annika
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Anell, Barbro
    Blomquist, Tomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Wilson, Timothy
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Zackariasson, Peter
    Challenges in project management: Grabbing the elephant2007In: Projects & Profits, Vol. 7, no 12, p. 33-37Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Projects and project management tend to have special meanings to the individuals involved in a specific line of research. This article reports on some topics covered in an informal Swedish network devoted to study project management. Ten topics are selected for discussion that fall into three broad categories—projects as practice, productivity in projects and education in a PM curriculum.

  • 3.
    Blomquist, Tomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Gällstedt, Margareta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Nilsson, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Söderholm, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Project as practice: making project research matter2006In: Proceedings of IRNOP VII Project Research Conference, Beijing: Publishing house electronics industry , 2006, p. 540-549Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Project theory is not only an immature field of research, it is insubstantial when it comes to understanding what is really going on in projects. This paper contributes to making project research matter to the academic as well as the practitioner through the theoretical development of a project-as-practice approach, aligned with an ongoing debate in social science research. We outline the framework of project-as-practice and argue that there are two major challenges to the researcher: the relevance challenge and the pattern challenge. We suggest how these challenges can be met and give some examples of earlier studies that have done so. The practice approach is not a substitute to present theorizing but rather a complement that brings substance. Finally, underlying notions of the practice approach are outlined in order to have a fruitful future development of a project-as-practice approach that makes project theory matter!

  • 4.
    Blomquist, Tomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Nilsson, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Development of virtual teams and learning communities2006In: Collaborating virtually: concepts and applications, Punjagutta, India: ICFAI University Press , 2006, p. 121-131Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Students of an Internet based course in project management worked during a 20 week period worked in teams of 4-6 persons. The course consisted of Swedish students living in Sweden or abroad, which made it impossible for many of the teams to have any face-to-face interaction. During the course, the teams were assigned a series of discussion questions and cases. The study, based on a survey of 287 students who participated in the course, examined their experience of teamwork and showed that many of the classical team development issues also evolve in a virtual team. Furthermore, the study showed that students considered their teamwork was efficient and that being able to communicate, discuss and share experiences was essential for developing a positive learning community.

  • 5.
    Blomquist, Tomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Nilsson, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mid Sweden University, Sweden.
    Project-as-practice: in search of project management research that matters2012In: IEEE Engineering Management Review, ISSN 0360-8581, E-ISSN 1937-4178, Vol. 40, no 3, p. 88-103Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Blomquist, Tomas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Nilsson, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Söderholm, Anders
    Mittuniversitetet, Sundsvall.
    Project-as-practice: in search of project management research that matters2010In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 41, no 1, p. 5-16Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research on projects is not only an immaturefield of research, but it is also insubstantial whenit comes to understanding what occurs in projects.This article contributes to making projectmanagement research matter to the academic aswell as to the practitioner by developing a projectas-practice approach, in alignment with theongoing debate in social science research.The article outlines a framework and argues thatthere are two major challenges to the researcherand also suggests how these challenges can bemet. Underlying notions of the practice approachare outlined to ensure a development of theproject-as-practice approach that makes projectmanagement research matter!

  • 7. Buchanan, David A.
    et al.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Surviving a zombie apocalypse: Leadership configurations in extreme contexts2019In: Management Learning, ISSN 1350-5076, E-ISSN 1461-7307, Vol. 50, no 2, p. 152-170Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    What can the classic zombie movie, Day of the Dead, tell us about leadership? In our analysis of this film, we explore leadership behaviours in an extreme context - a zombie apocalypse where survivors face persistent existential threat. Extreme context research presents methodological challenges, particularly with regard to fieldwork. The use of films as proxy case studies is one way in which to overcome these problems, and for researchers working in an interpretivist perspective, 'social science fiction' is increasingly used as a source of inspiration and ideas. The contribution of our analysis concerns highlighting the role of leadership configurations in extreme contexts, an approach not previously addressed in this field, but one that has greater explanatory power than current perspectives. In Day of the Dead, we observe several different configurations - patterns of leadership styles and behaviours - emerging, shifting and overlapping across the phases of the narrative, each with radically different consequences for the group of survivors. These observations suggest a speculative theory of leadership configurations and their implications in extreme contexts, for exploring further, with other methods.

  • 8. Elsbach, Kimberley D
    et al.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    How temporary organizations promote dysfunctional goal pursuit: the case of the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster2016In: Contemporary organizational behavior: from ideas to action / [ed] Kimberley D Elsbach, Anna B Kayes, D Christopher Kayes, Pearson Education Academic Publisher, 2016, p. 300-306Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Fernandez, Virginie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Giordano, Yvonne
    Université Côte d'Azur, Nice, France.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Statistics.
    Actualizing novel trajectories: chronological and kairotic improvisations2024In: Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, ISSN 0966-0879, E-ISSN 1468-5973, Vol. 32, no 1, article id e12514Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The role of first responders during extreme crisis events consists of improvising under time pressure to retain control of the unfolding situation and mitigate harmful effects to help organizations restore their 'normal' functioning. This pervasive view of crises as cosmologic events obscures their transformational dimension and their long-term positive outcomes. In this article, we explore how actors respond to time pressure and vital stakes while identifying and actualizing a novel trajectory. They improvise to overcome limitations, create, and enact a desirable future to seize an opportunity that arises due to unexpected surprises. We argue that the actualization of novel trajectories relies on a combination of the enactment of a duplicate temporality that combines the chronological time-pressure of the unfolding event and kairotic time, in which critical decisions and actions actualize the desired future. Our contributions to the crisis management literature are twofold. First, we conceptualize chronological and kairotic improvisation practices to acknowledge that crisis response is not only about acting quickly but also about doing the right thing at the right time. Second, we shed light on crises as 'cosmologic' events, showing that they can be a point of origin for long-term positive outcomes. Finally, we advocate for a deeper and fine-grained consideration of time and temporality to advance crisis management studies.

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  • 10.
    Fernandez, Virginie
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jané, Sophie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Shared body puzzles: examining collective embodied sensemaking on the climbing wall2022Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 11.
    Holmström, Jonny
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    AI management beyond the hype: exploring the co-constitution of AI and organizational context2022In: AI & Society: The Journal of Human-Centred Systems and Machine Intelligence, ISSN 0951-5666, E-ISSN 1435-5655, Vol. 37, p. 1575-1585Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    AI technologies hold great promise for addressing existing problems in organizational contexts, but the potential benefits must not obscure the potential perils associated with AI. In this article, we conceptually explore these promises and perils by examining AI use in organizational contexts. The exploration complements and extends extant literature on AI management by providing a typology describing four types of AI use, based on the idea of co-constitution of AI technologies and organizational context. Building on this typology, we propose three recommendations for informed use of AI in contemporary organizations. First, explicitly define the purpose of organizational AI use. Second, define the appropriate level of transparency and algorithmic management for organizational AI use. Third, be aware of AI's context-dependent nature.

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  • 12.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Among deviations and their remedies: managing the unexpected in e-voting projects2011Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 13.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Business Administration.
    Avvikelsens mekanismer: Observationer av projekt i praktiken2009Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Bakgrund I det närmaste alla organisationer strävar efter att använda sina resurser så effektivt som möjligt. Vad som dock inte diskuterats i någon större utsträckning är att den starkt kopplade komplexa organisationen inte klarar av att bemöta ens den minsta avvikelsen utan att ägna den direkt uppmärksamhet. Den övergripande frågan är därför Hur hanteras avvikelser i starkt kopplade projekt? Det teoretiska ramverket är först och främst projektlitteratur men ramverket vidgas sedermera till att omfatta praktikansatslitteratur samt Weicks (1976) ”Loosely coupled systems”.

    Metod Givet ansatsen faller det sig naturligt att göra en fallstudie med observationer som huvudsaklig metod. Utöver tolv veckors observationer förlitar jag mig på 57 intervjuer och mängder av dokument. En organisation, två projektgrupper och 118 avvikelser observerades totalt under perioden. De data som samlades in analyserades med hjälp av dataprogrammet Nvivo.

    Resultat Analysen är uppdelad i tre integrerade kapitel. Det första kapitlet diskuterar avvikelser som företeelse och definierar begreppet närmare. En avvikelse definieras som en händelse som kräver såväl identitet som handlingskraft. Det andra analyskapitlet analyserar praktiken närmare. Allt som allt observerades 29 praktiker vilka kunde grupperas i åtta praktikmönster. Praktikmönstren kunde sedermera inordnas i två distinkta löskopplingsmönster i en teoretiskt underbyggd och empiriskt styrkt figur. Figuren och följaktligen praktikmönstren beskriver hur avvikelsen görs löst kopplad. Det tredje analyskapitlet diskuterar fem mekanismer som följer av med de löst kopplade avvikelserna. Dessa fem mekanismer kan sedermera betonas och utnyttjas av projektledaren.

    Slutsatser Slutsatserna följer två spår. Det ena spåret fokuserar på projekt i allmänhet och projektledning i synnerhet. Slutsatsen som kan dras där är att det finns en inneboende osäkerhet i projekt som kan utnyttjas för att hantera avvikelser. Alla avvikelser har inte stora konsekvenser men de besitter vissa gemensamma egenskaper. Det andra spåret är ett bidrag till teorin om löst kopplade system. Länge har en processuell och praktikbaserad studie saknats. Genom att undersöka löskopplingsprocesser i ljuset av en praktikansats har jag visat hur löskopplingsprocesser ser ut.

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  • 14.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Beyond the point of no return: On the management of deviations2007In: International Journal of Project Management, ISSN 0263-7863, Vol. 25, no 8, p. 773-780Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article explores how deviations are managed in practice in a diesel power plant project. The article builds upon an analysis of a case study of a power plant project and a true story of mountaineering. Metaphorically the paper uses mountaineering to shed light onto the management of deviations and the decisions that follow. At first sight the comparison is farfetched, but once the picture is painted there are similarities that make it worthwhile. The analysis demonstrates the impact of the point of no return on formal procedures when the actions associated with deviations are forced and how these actions are by necessity sanctioned after the solutions are found.

  • 15.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Coupling mechanisms in the management of deviations: Project-as-Practice observations2009In: Progress in Management Engineering:   / [ed] Jan M. Cassell & Lucas P. Gragg, Nova Science Publishers Inc , 2009Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 16.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    De falska syntesernas förbannelse2017In: Projektvärlden, ISSN 1652-3016, no 4, p. 29-29Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 17.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Dealing with deviations: Investigating coupling mechanisms in project management2007Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Projects are often run concurrently, with tight deadlines, and no slack available to absorb delays. Consequently, projects are vulnerable for disturbances and dealing with project deviations are thus a daily practice within complex and tightly coupled projects. This paper aims at an understanding of how deviations are dealt with in practice when regular best practice and project execution models are less appropriate. A coupling perspective is used to analyze data from an extensive case study. We present different de-coupling and re-coupling mechanisms. De-coupling are activities to define and understand deviation while re-coupling represent mechanisms to mitigate consequences of the deviation. Two broad categories of management action patterns are finally discussed: Autopilot management when management is mostly to monitor and ensure smooth project execution and manual override management when immediate and precise management action is required to deal with the unexpected.

  • 18.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Doing things differently: Turning the game of academia upside down2021In: Becoming an Organizational Scholar: Navigating the Academic Odyssey / [ed] Tomislav Hernaus, Matej Černe, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2021, p. 212-222Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Drawing upon insights and reflections from the author’s experience of establishing himself as a researcher by purposefully doing things differently this chapter explores the opportunities that follow from such an approach. The chapter provides insights about the principles, tools and methods that were used, and have continued to be used by the author in order to find, and keep the passion alive.

  • 19.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Dropping the tools: team formation on Everest in 19962009Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Groupthink in temporary organizations2010In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, ISSN 1753-8378, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 94-110Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of groupthink in temporary organizations. Only anecdotally has the literature touched upon how the temporary organization's structure may foster groupthink. Studies of faulty group processes are imperative since temporary organizations are becoming more common. Design/methodology/approach – Following the design used by several authors who analyzed the Everest events, this paper is an historic in-depth case study based on accounts of several survivors. Findings – Three out of four features of groupthink are found and analyzing the Everest events there are several symptoms to groupthink that may be present in any temporary organization. Research limitations/implications – Groupthink as a theoretical idea is well developed but has received limited attention in a temporary organization (project) setting. More attention should be given to group dynamics in general and groupthink in particular. Practical implications – Some practices are suggested to avoid groupthink. Furthermore, project managers find themselves in a balancing act between freedom, efficiency, and fast decisions. The context should be allowed to decide which the correct approach is. Finally, blowing the whistle should never be a problem and never be punished. Originality/value – The setting of this paper is original although it is to the structure a common project. When life is at stake, features and symptoms of groupthink become more evident. The theoretical field is almost non-existent in a temporary organization setting hence there is a considerable value to the theoretical development of temporary organizations and groupthink.

  • 21.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Groupthink in the death zone: failure of a temporary organizationManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Fourteen years ago the concept and structure of “temporary organizations” was demonstrated. The purpose of this article is to examine whether temporary organizations promote groupthink and to assess whether and impedes progress. to assess whether groupthink contributes to uncriticised behaviour that impedes progress. The case of the 1996 Mount Everest tragedy, in which 15 people died, was scrutinized using the published personal accounts of survivors and subsequent research. An argument is developed to show that temporary organizations carry features that induce groupthink. Some remedies are suggested and the importance of the phenomenon is highlighted by the fact that mountaineering deaths and failing projects which are still happening may be caused by it.

  • 22.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Grupptänkande i projekt2009In: Projektvärlden : en tidning från svenskt projektforum, ISSN 1652-3016, no 4, p. 20-23Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 23.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Karl E. Weick: On organizing2011In: On the shoulders of giants / [ed] Tommy Jensen, Timothy L. Wilson, Lund: Studentlitteratur , 2011, p. 267-280Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 24.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Managing deviations in projects2010In: Projects & Profits, Vol. 10, no 1, p. 31-36Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Deviations or unexpected events are especially common and hard to manage in complex, tightly coupled projects. In such projects, the margins for error are low and project activities demand a high level of integration and interdependence among the resources.

  • 25.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Mechanisms of deviations: Observations of projects in practice2009In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, ISSN 1753-8378, Vol. 2, no 4, p. 611-625Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to describe and summarise a PhD thesis that contributes to the understanding of how unexpected events (deviations) are handled. It explores the reality of project manager’s attempts to address loosely coupled components of tightly coupled projects from a projects-as-practice approach.

     

    Design/method/approach – Research reported up here is based upon a qualitative data gathering approach adopting an ethnographic research approach, gathering data from 12 weeks of participant observations, fifty nine interviews and studying supporting documentation with the offices under study. This approach is warranted by the projects-as-practice approach which puts emphasis on the situated actions.

     

    Findings: Rather than reducing uncertainty, project management action through coping with deviations to expectations provides mechanisms that thrive on the uncertainty of the situation. Project managers can cope with unexpected deviations to plan in a logical and rigorous way that is currently poorly recognized as an official project management ‘skill’.

     

    Practical Implications: More space for action is created to solve the specific deviation by enhancing the seriousness of the deviation .The longer the project manager is able to emphasize the structures of a deviation the more time the project manager has to find a suitable solution.

     

    Originality/value: There are two main areas of conclusion that are given attention. First, uncertainty is inherent in projects which can be used when dealing with deviations in projects because while all deviations do not have great consequences, they follow the same basic pattern when managed. Project management in this sense becomes the management of deviations. Second, in terms of the theory of loosely coupled systems, a practice based analysis has been largely missing in the project management literature. The study reported upon investigates and explains this inner life of loose coupling mechanisms.

  • 26.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Business Administration. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Mellan plan och kaos: En studie av avvikelser i projektintensiva organisationer2004Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
  • 27.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Novel or incremental contributions: the construction of research questions2016In: Designs, methods and practices for research of project management / [ed] Beverly Pasian, Routledge, 2016, p. 107-118Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This chapter is about constructing the opportunities for an incremental or novel theoretical research contribution. This is a pertinent decision to any academic since it will have an impact not only on how a paper is positioned but also on the individual career. The chapter elaborates on the impact of choosing the contribution, and specifically on how to deliberately choose a strategy for the contribution, positioning and the importance of choosing the audience for the contribution, and how to frame the contribution for the previously specified audience. These issues are not isolated but often integrated with each other; nevertheless they are crucial for any research, and by extension academic career.

  • 28.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Novel or incremental?: Developing theories for temporary organizing and projects through the construction of the research question2014In: Methods, designs and practices for research into project management: Methods, designs and practices for research into project management / [ed] Beverly Pasian, Gower Publishing Ltd., 2014Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 29.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    On managing the uncertain: Observations of project management2009In: Journal of current issues in Finance, Business and Economics, Vol. 2, no 2/3, p. 95-112Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 30.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    On the management of deviations2007Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Traditionally projects are considered means for getting things done simultaneously striving for efficient and accurate methods – meaning, doing more in less time. A consequence, not often discussed, is that doing more things in less time with a closer focus on cost, will inevitably lead to a more complex and tightly connected project execution system which is more sensitive to deviations. Following a “project-as-practice” perspective this paper explores and analysis how deviations are managed. The findings suggest that even though the company manages about 120 projects/year deviations cannot be avoided. The deviations were found to initially de-couple (process of creating loosely coupled activities) from the overall project process and later on re-couple (process of tight coupling activities) when the deviation were solved. The paper suggests that the management of deviations is dynamic and changing and that the concept of coupling is a fruitful way of exploring the dynamic process.

  • 31.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Projekt är farliga!2013In: Thule: Kungl. Skytteanska samfundets årsbok / [ed] Jacobsson R, Umeå: Kungl. Skytteanska samfundet , 2013Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 32.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Reflections on a Scientific Career: Behind the professor’s CV2014Book (Other academic)
  • 33.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Situated teams: dropping the tools on Everest2011Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 34.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Situated teams: dropping tools on Mount Everest2017In: Project management in extreme situations: lessons from polar expeditions, military and rescue operations, and wilderness explorations / [ed] Monique Aubry, Pascal Lièvre, Boca Raton: CRC Press, 2017, p. 171-196Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 35.
    Hällgren, Markus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    The construction of research questions in project management2012In: International Journal of Project Management, ISSN 0263-7863, E-ISSN 1873-4634, Vol. 30, no 7, p. 804-816Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 36.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Blomquist,, Tomas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Nilsson, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Project management practice: making project management research matter2006Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Project theory is not only an immature field of research, it is insubstantial when it comes to understanding what is really going on in projects. This paper contributes to making project research matter to the academic as well as the practitioner through the theoretical development of a project-as-practice approach, aligned with an ongoing debate in social science research. We outline the framework of project-as-practice and argue that there are two major challenges to the researcher: the relevance challenge and the pattern challenge. We suggest how these challenges can be met and give some examples of earlier studies that have done so. The practice approach is not a substitute to present theorizing but rather a complement that brings substance. Finally, underlying notions of the practice approach are outlined in order to have a fruitful future development of a project-as-practice approach that makes project theory matter!

  • 37.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Buchanan, David A.
    Cranfield University, United Kingdom.
    The Dark Side of Group Behavior: Zombie Apocalypse Lessons2020In: Academy of Management Perspectives, ISSN 1558-9080, E-ISSN 1943-4529, Vol. 34, no 4, p. 434-457Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How will groups of survivors behave in a doomsday scenario? Will there be competition for scarce resources? Will they collaborate in reconstruction? While we cannot research these questions directly, we can find clues in four places. First, there are historical examples of apocalyptic events. Second, social identity theory offers explanations of group behavior. Third, there have been studies undertaken of group dynamics in extreme contexts. We discuss the limitations of these three sources, before turning a fourth-a fictional account-in search of ideas. Adopting a narrative theoretical lens, we consider "the theory on offer" in the television series The Walking Dead, which portrays a zombie apocalypse. We find that group behavior is shaped by the nature of survivor group composition, and by the properties of the doomsday context that they face. We demonstrate the potential for the emergence of a dark, violent side of group behavior. We illustrate a methodological solution to the problem of researching extreme contexts using "speculative fiction." And, by exploiting the zombie movie genre, we address the "failure of imagination" that can increase society's vulnerability to unforeseen events. Our analysis has implications for organization theory as well as for policy and practice in doomsday scenarios.

  • 38.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    DeFillippi, Robert
    Suffolk University.
    Tensions of creativity in temporary organizing2014In: Advancing research on projects and temporary organizations / [ed] Lundin, R & Hällgren, M, Copenhagen Business School Press, 2014Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 39.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Grönlund, Å
    Internetval - succé eller fiasko?: Försöket vid Umeå studentkår2003In: HumanIT 2003 / [ed] John Sören Pettersson, Karlstad: Centre for HumanIT, Karlstad University , 2003, Vol. 6, no 121-162, p. 121-162Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 40.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Using retrospective data to study extreme contexts: the case of impromptu teams2019In: SAGE research methods cases, London: Sage Publications, 2019, p. 1-9Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This teaching case focuses on challenges and opportunities of studying extreme contexts in general and the use of retrospective data in particular. The case takes its start in a retrospective case study of the fatal 1996 Mount Everest climbing incident. Based in the case description, the research design of the article, and the practical execution, a number of challenging areas and important lessons with respect to studying extreme contexts are outlined. By working with the method case, we expect students to further their ability to assess the main benefits and challenges when studying extreme contexts, discuss the appropriateness of possible methods when studying extreme contexts, analyze the use of method applied to a specific extreme context, and critically examine the use of method applied to this specific (extreme) case.

  • 41.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Jacobsson, Mattias
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Söderholm, Anders
    Embracing the drifting environment: The legacy and impact of a Scandinavian Project literature classic2012In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 5, no 4, p. 695-713Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and analysis of the legacy of Christensen and Kreiner's (1991) literally classic Projektledning: att leda och lära i en ofullständig värld (Project Management: to manage and learn in an incomplete world).

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper is based on a three-step theoretical analysis deduced from the mentioned classic. The first step provides an overview of the content where the core ideas of the book are derived. This is followed by an analysis of the legacy and impact on theory, empirical approaches, and education. Finally, three main takeaways from the book are discussed.

    Findings – In tracking the legacy, the paper analyses, discusses, and illustrates how the Scandinavian approach to projects has evolved. It pinpoints the two core insights of the book; the importance of understanding the impact of the institutional environment on operations, and embracing uncertainty as a natural part of everyday organizational reality. Based on these insights it is shown how the book has expanded the theoretical contributions towards a focus on temporary organisations and everyday practice, how it has helped to make situated empirical research matter, and how it has influenced education to deal with real-life project challenges.

    Research limitations/implications – This paper investigates a book available only in the Scandinavian language and thus only available for a Scandinavian research community. As such the review is written from a Scandinavian perspective, with the limitations in terms of objectivity to the book that follow from that.

    Practical implications – The main lessons discussed in relation to the heritage from the book are: an increased focus on the details of organizing, situated multi-level case-studies, and situation-sensitive teaching methodologies. The paper argues that an increased understanding of projects should start with a detailed multi-level analysis of temporary organizing to provide a sound foundation on which to base future research and teaching.

    Originality/value – The paper provides an understanding of the origins and diffusion of underpinning ideas of the Scandinavian approach to project management.

  • 42.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Lilliesköld, Joakim
    Industrial Information and Control Systems, School of Electrical Engineering, KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm .
    Three modes of deviation handling: coping with unexpected events in project management2006In: Technology management for the global future, 2006, p. 2236-2243Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Most of the project management tools suggested in the literature are effective under perfect conditions with unlimited resources. However by definition, projects are neither unlimited in time nor resources, which creates a gap between the perfect conditions and the reality that most project managers and teams face. The case studies that this paper investigates are based on in-depth participative observations, interviews, emails and other written material. The results are rather surprising as project teams do not seem to use methods suggested in the literature when responding to the sudden appearance of unexpected situations, that is; deviations. The cases give an insight into the dynamics of project management and how informal teams are used to increase speed and flexibility. These informal teams could meet when needed in order to discuss and solve problems or changes. Further, in two of the cases, traditional project planning was not used at the top management level to plan and coordinate the projects. Thus, the cases show that the management of projects according to traditional plans is not the only means of making a project successful. Instead, the creation of a flexible organization that can identify, react, and act upon the changes that most likely will occur becomes more crucial in order to be able to successfully deliver the project

  • 43.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Lindahl, Marcus
    Coping with lack of authority Extending research on project governance with a practice approach2017In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 244-262Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore alternative coping strategies that may compensate for the limitations of weak governance structure in a product development project. Design/methodology/approach - The findings are based on a single case study, including interviews and documents, of a product development project that consists of two interlinked projects in a large multinational company. Findings - Two distinct procedures are identified to cope and manage effectively when there are weak project governance structures. The first procedure is a horizontal process of operational consensus-seeking where conflicts between projects are negotiated and resolved through communication between independent actors such as two project managers who are at the same hierarchical level within the same organization. The second process is a vertical process of strategic escalation where issues that have failed to be resolved are shifted upwards to a new hierarchical level where a new round of operational consensus-seeking is attempted. Research limitations/implications - This paper complements the existing understanding of project governance with a project-as-practice perspective. Based on the findings the authors suggest that project governance needs to be nuanced in its understanding since a too-structured approach may in fact increase tensions in an organization. Practical implications - Practical insights include how organizations may work with its project governance structures in order to avoid tensions. The authors suggest that, in particular, politically sensitive situations may be avoided by weak rather than strong governance structures. Social implications - The authors find that weak governance structures may be efficient for the organization, but harmful to personnel, who become too focused on the task at hand. Originality/value - To the best of the authors' knowledge very little research has been attributed to project governance from a practice approach. Moreover, most attention has been given to strong structures, thereby not examining the positive implications of weak structures.

  • 44.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
    Lindahl, Marcus
    Department of Engineering Sciences, Industrial Engineering & Management, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    How do you do?: On situating old project sites through practice-based studies2012In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business/Emerald, ISSN 1753-8378, E-ISSN 1753-8386, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 335-344Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this editorial is to reflect on the growing interest of situated project research.

    Design/methodology/approach – The editorial is conceptual and relies on published work and the articles included in the special issue.

    Findings – With this special issue it is found that practice-based studies, also called Projects-as-Practice studies, interested in the everyday activities of project practitioners, are multi-faceted and rich. What may also be seen is that practice-based studies are not yet a coherent area. However, it is more important that practice-based studies allow researchers to understand the organization less as an entity and more as a socially-accomplished task.

    Research limitations/implications – Several implications for research are offered, including the need for studies that emphasize the small details of organizing, and that practice-based studies are not restricted to a certain methodology but depend on what a particular paper tries to accomplish.

    Practical implications – With an ever-growing stream of research focusing on projects the guest editors argue that it is about time to look into the details of organizing. This could be accomplished through a number of ways but in this special issue it is proposed that approaching traditional areas with a conscious naivety when asking the questions may do it. For the practitioner, the special issue offers important insights into how things are done in practice, which may be used as a mirror or reflection upon their own practice.

    Originality/value – This editorial and special issue offer insights for any academic interested in understanding projects differently.

  • 45.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Lindahl, Marcus
    Uppsala University.
    Rehn, Alf
    Åbo Akademi.
    The ghosts of shared leadership: on decision-making and subconscious followership in the death zone of K22013In: Extreme leadership: leaders, teams and situations outside the norm / [ed] Giannantonio, C & Hurley-Hanson, A.E, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 46.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Lindberg, Ola
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Rantatalo, Oscar
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education.
    Sensemaking in detective work: the social nature of crime investigation2021In: International Journal of Police Science and Management, ISSN 1461-3557, E-ISSN 1478-1603, Vol. 23, no 2, p. 119-132Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we contribute to the knowledge on police detectives' work practices, and report how police detectives make sense of casework in a social manner. As our research question, we address the ways in which detective work can be understood as a social process. To target this question, we conducted an ethnographic study that examines how detectives who work with domestic violence and high-volume crimes strive to frame and understand events in everyday investigative practice. The data consist of approximately 200 hours of ethnographic data and interviews from two departments in a Swedish police station. The results indicate that detectives' sensemaking of casework took place through two principal practices: a concluding practice and a supporting practice. Furthermore, the findings show that detectives' work is highly social and procedural. This suggests that detectives' work practice is of a social nature and that contacts between investigators are important to take into account in the organization of an investigative department.

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  • 47.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Maaninen-Olsson, Eva
    Department of Business Studies, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Deviations, ambiguity and uncertainty in a project-intensive organization2005In: Project Management Journal, ISSN 8756-9728, E-ISSN 1938-9507, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 17-26Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article analyzes deviations in an automation project. The article develops a more holistic view of the project organization, focusing on how deviations are managed. The case study demonstrates that the tools and methods suggested in the literature are rarely used, and shows the importance of the context of the project in terms of gathering information and sharing knowledge that is required to manage deviations. Furthermore, the case shows that there are a number of deviation-management tactics that are applied to different deviations, dependent on whether they are uncertain and/or ambiguous.

  • 48.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
    Maaninen-Olsson, Eva
    Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
    Deviations and the breakdown of project management principles2009In: International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, ISSN 1753-8378, Vol. 2, no 1, p. 53-69Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of how unexpected events (deviations) are handled and how the limited time available in a project affects the possibilities for reflection and knowledge creation. Since deviations will inevitably occur and they will substantially increase project costs, studies of them are imperative. When only a fraction of the project management literature has focused on the actuality of the project this study gives insights into the practice of project management. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on an exploratory, in-depth case study of a power plant project found in an integrated provider of projects of this type. The projects were followed by participative observations during ten weeks of onsite visits. Findings – The results show that in contrast to contemporary project management theories, the management of deviations was found to be primarily informal. The reason for this was two-fold. First, there was not enough time to use formal procedures. Second, if the formal routines were to be followed, the window of opportunity would be lost, making the decisions that follow useless. Third, two types of reflection were noted: structured collective reflection and contextual reflection, the former corresponding to formal routines and the later to the solution of deviations which is seen as a trigger for spreading practices around the organization. Research limitations/implications – The research presented that projects should be studied from a practice point of view, where deviations might be a good starting point. Moreover, it is suggested that there is a need to broaden the studies of reflection to accommodate other organizational levels and time spans. Practical implications – The case has several suggestions for practitioners. First, small deviations should be paid attention to. Second, bureaucracy hampers flexibility and the organization should rather set up organizational structures, i.e. dual structures, to allow for a smoother process. Third, networks and confidence were found to be essential for the process. Finally, there is a need to pay attention to different time frames when managing deviations. Originality/value – The paper develops a more intricate view of project organizing coming from the new Project-as-Practice agenda. Rather than focusing on what should be done, it focuses on what is done, which is a research area that needs further attention.

  • 49.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Musca, Genevieve
    Universite Paris Ouest.
    Rouleau, Linda
    HEC Montreal.
    The elusive goal: negotiations and re-negotiations of success and failure in temporary organizations2013Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 50.
    Hällgren, Markus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Nilsson, Andreas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
    Project management practice: the activities of coordination in a meeting2006In: Proceedings of IRNOP VII project research conference, Beijing: China Publishing House of Electronics Industry, 2006, p. 526-539Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Is it really the case that more than half of a work day is lost to meetings? In this paper we have analyzed one meeting in a software company in terms of the activities of coordination. The framework of the paper relies firmly on a project-as-practice approach which focuses on practitioners, their actions and what shapes norms and beliefs. The findings suggest that there are above all two patterns of coordination present during the meeting; informal and formal coordination. These patterns in turn are continuously interacting - implying a constant exchange between local practice and accepted practices, here represented by the project plan. The implications of the paper are several both for researchers and project practitioners. Finally, is half the workday lost? Peter Drucker, we regret to say: No it is not!

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