The nature of organizational project management through the lens of integration

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Cambridge Handbook of Organizational Project Management, 2017, pp. 9 - 18
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Chapter 1- The Nature of Organizational Project Management copy edited Oct 9.docxAccepted Manuscript version98.34 kB
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© Cambridge University Press 2017. Introduction This chapter focuses on defining and making sense of what organizational project management (OPM) is through the lens of integration. In this chapter we share our views on how we understand and define OPM so that the authors who have collaborated with us in this book are not only able to understand and critique our view, but can also discuss and relate their particular chapters to OPM. We urge readers of this book to help us improve, clarify, and broaden our initial thoughts on the nature of OPM. We derive our thoughts from the perspective of organizational integration, which we see as a necessity for organizing, and as a task that is becoming increasingly harder to achieve, due to the growing complexity of organizational design (Child, 2005). We argue that new ways of managing projects, by integrating all project management-related activities in an organization, are now needed to deliver projects to meet the continuously growing expectations of stakeholders. We propose our concept of OPM as a way for managers in charge of managing the organization and governing projects to meet these expectations. We begin this chapter by offering a definition of OPM from an organizational theory (OT) perspective. We then present evidence in OT that discusses integration to support our definition. Finally, we discuss the nature of OPM by proposing it as a mechanism for integrating project management-related activities in organizations. What Is Organizational Project Management? In this section we develop our definition of OPM. The term OPM has two parts – organization and project management. Organization theory (OT) acts as the foundation and lies at the heart of a definition for OPM. Through its key concepts, such as organizational structure, organizational forms, and the concept of integration, OT brings interesting perspectives that help us to grasp the concept of OPM. Therefore, in this chapter we propose a definition of OPM through the lens of OT, with a specific focus on the concept of integration. How did the concept OPM evolve? In 2012, Drouin and Besner edited a “SpecialIssue on Projects and Organizations” in the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. This issue included several papers explaining project management's relationship to organizations. Drouin and Besner (2012, p. 176) noted that “projects are seen as venues for mastering business, implementing changes, innovating, and developing competitive advantage.”
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