Are interpretive and critical research methods useful for research in project management?

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Conference Proceeding
Setting the Standard: Proceedings of the AIPM National Conference 2007, 2007, pp. 1 - 13
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This paper proposes that the project management discipline would benefit from the findings of practitioners who conduct research into their own practice. Project management researchers associated with a UK government-funded research project [1] have recently suggested that the project management field requires more research into project actuality , focusing on social processes of how project managers think in action and that such research could contribute to more satisfactory outcomes of contemporary projects. This paper describes a hypothetical dilemma faced by a project manager and briefly describes four doctoral research projects carried out by practitioners who used action research, case research and systems thinking methodologies to address real problems they faced in their projects. It discusses their findings and some common features of these projects and argues that practitioner research using interpretative and critical research methods into actual problems faced by project managers could contribute to useful knowledge for project managers.
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