Project management behind the façade

volume 9, number 2
May, 2009
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Despite a conspicuous absence of solid evidence, it is repeatedly claimed that the use of projects as a form of work has been on the increase for decades (Ekstedt et al., 1999 Morris and Pinto, 2004). Projects, i.e. the handling of unique, complex tasks through temporary, decoupled activities, have always had a place in the history of mankind. For thousands of years, participation in various kinds of project has been a complement to the eternal struggle for food and a roof over one’s head. Constructing pyramids, discovering the New World, crowding the shores of Dunkirk with Allied soldiers; the history books are full of unique, complex undertakings limited in time and scope. Not surprisingly, the abundance of normative literature on project management justifies its existence by reference to the need of mankind to succeed with such large, radical, history-making endeavours.