The use of effectuation in projects: The influence of business case control, portfolio monitoring intensity and project innovativeness

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Journal Article
International Journal of Project Management, 2018, 36 (8), pp. 1054 - 1067
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd, APM and IPMA Project management approaches are evolving to be more flexible and adaptive to meet the challenges associated with an increasingly complex and dynamic environment. However, potential changes in the underpinning logic supporting project decision making have scarcely been considered. We investigate the role of effectuation, a decision logic most commonly associated with entrepreneurship, as an alternative decision-making approach to the rational ‘causation’ logic that has traditionally underpinned project management processes. We develop and test a model to explore the portfolio- and project-level influences on the application of effectuation in project management. We find that portfolio governance mechanisms related to business case use and portfolio monitoring inhibit the use of effectuation, while project innovativeness is associated with increased use of effectuation. The paper contributes to research and practice by empirically investigating the antecedents to the use of effectuation decision-making logic in project and portfolio management through a multi-level model.
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