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The Project as a Social System
Asia-Pacific Perspectives on Project Management
Henry Linger and Jill Owen
In recent years research initiatives in the field of project management have accelerated and are now pursued across many disciplinary fields and a vast range of project types, ranging from construction to organisational change and new product development. This diversity of research into phenomena within the ‘project’ context suggests the dynamism of and progress within this field of study, and its potential to contribute to scholarly knowledge within a range of disciplinary areas outside of project management itself, including organisational studies, knowledge management and organisational learning.
A prominent feature in current project management research is an emphasis on the important mediating influence of context on project performance and operational effectiveness. This shift in focus constitutes a notable divergence within project management from traditional concerns with technical processes. Indeed, many researchers and authors identify projects as primarily social constructs, where sense-making and adaptive behaviours are required to accommodate local contexts, dynamics and personal attributes.
The inaugural Asia Pacific Research Conference on Project Management was held in February 2010 at Monash University Australia. The conference theme was ‘The project as a social system’ and brought together a wide ranging group of project management researchers, primarily from the Asia-Pacific region but also from Europe. This theme encapsulated and encouraged contributions from researchers on diverse social- human- and context-centred phenomena within the project based environment. The papers presented in this book reflect the richness of this developing intellectual area in highlighting how projects interrelate with their social and contextual environments.