Applying Actor-Network Theory as a sensemaking framework for complex organisational change programs

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Journal Article
International Journal of Project Management, 2013, 31 (8), pp. 1118 - 1128
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The implementation of a Project Management Information System (PMIS) in three public sector agencies is examined using Actor-Network Theory, an infrequently applied approach to project management research. Use of the PMIS focused on practitioner capability, without acting as a mechanism of project control. This is different to how a PMIS is generally portrayed in the literature, suggesting a need to rethink the ways a PMIS can support project management. The research revealed that the PMIS software application, by itself, would have had limited impact, and similarly the practitioner-researchers who developed and implemented the PMIS would, by themselves, have been less effective. Instead, the contribution, effectiveness and capability came from the stable network of association between the practitioner researchers and the PMIS; an actor-network, which allowed other networks to stabilise and develop, as new users learned how to conceptualise their work through project management concepts, and developed their project management capability.
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