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Project studies: What it is, where it is going?

Article Highlight:

This paper proposes a new framework for project research, the project studies framework, containing three levels of analysis and three types of research.

Keywords

  • Project studies
  • Type 3 research

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What does the paper cover?

The paper captures two developments in the study of projects: first, project researchers not only study the projects, but the individuals working in projects, and the organisational and societal context of and for projects. Second, they observe a change on the interests driving research. The most common project research focuses on predicting and controlling projects (type 1 research), and on understanding projects and dynamics in projects (type 2). The authors observed examples and called for a stronger focus on emancipatory and engaged research (type 3), which is triggered by ‘real life problems’, challenges the unjust in the status quo and proposes alternative perspectives drawing from and integrating diverse knowledge fields.

The paper aims to show the value of project studies and encourages academic researchers to adopt diversity in research focus and methods. It invites researchers to debate and to build on the proposed framework to generate new research and respond better to contemporary societal and managerial challenges.

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