Special section editorial - The project as a social system



Publication Details

Linger, H., Owen, J. & Sense, A. (2011). Special section editorial - The project as a social system. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 4 (3), 1.


Project management has developed in an evolutionary manner from a technical endeavour to a socio-technical process but has retained its focus on the delivery of project objectives. These objectives are still usually expressed in terms of physical artefacts and the interrelationship of those artefacts with their organisational and human contexts. Thus, project management can be conceptualised as a complex socially situated activity that involves organisational, behavioural and technical change. Thus, projects need to be seen simultaneously as delivery of objectives and facilitating organisational change. Complexity is inherent in the delivery of projects as ill-defined and unbounded issues emerge throughout the lifespan of the project while the scope, which is political, subjective and negotiable, also evolves throughout the project. As a consequence, many issues that emerge within the project need to be resolved outside the project boundaries through social processes that are capable of addressing the complexity inherent in those issues.

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