Engaging 'Meaning' in the Analysis of the Project Start-Up Workshop

International Research Network on Organizing by Projects
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
IRNOP IX International Research Network on Organizing by Projects, 2009, pp. 1 - 25
Issue Date:
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'Meaning' provides a valuable concept in the explanation of project management (PM) practice. It offers an understanding of the basis of human behaviour and action. In this paper, we present a model of meaning that we employ in the examination of PM practice. Our model consists of a simplified definition of meaning, a description of introspection leading to understanding and a process of interaction between people. This process enables the construction, destruction, and development of meaning. We demonstrate this approach by analysing an autoethnographic case study of a project start-up workshop to test our model. Such a model requires a shift to an interpretivist paradigm, and to achieve this we draw on ideas and concepts from the Chicago School of Sociology and the Continental Philosophers in examining the PM practice. Our interpretivist model makes a significant contribution to the understanding and application of meaning in the context of Project Management practice. It provides an enabling methodology that allows the Project Manager the authority to be introspective in their analysis of their respective role and place in project success.
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