Neo-Industrial Organising: Renewal by Action and Knowledge Formation in a Project-Intensive Economy

Neo-Industrial Organising: Renewal by Action and Knowledge Formation in a Project-Intensive Economy

Neo-Industrial Organising: Renewal by Action and Knowledge Formation in a Project-Intensive Economy

Neo-Industrial Organising: Renewal by Action and Knowledge Formation in a Project-Intensive Economy

Synopsis

Neo-Industrial Organising outlines the fundamental mechanisms at work in transforming traditional 'permanent' organizational structures. The authors draw upon several international companies for empirical evidence including Volvo, Ericsson, Digital Equipment and the Royal Swedish Opera.

Excerpt

The four authors of this book have come to the study of project-oriented businesses from different academic backgrounds (business administration, economic history and psychology) and from a variety of general life experiences. We soon came to realise not only that projects are crucial for the businesses being studied but also that they seem to be poorly understood either as practical phenomena or from a theoretical point of view. Furthermore, after scrutinising the business literature, we quickly concluded that projects have (with a few very important exceptions) rarely been considered in the study of organisations. Since projects appear to be very important to many businesses, and because project professionals across industries have formed themselves into worldwide groups such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) and the International Project Management Association (IPMA, formerly Internet), we decided to study projects as phenomena.

Our original intention was to investigate a wide variety of projects with the aim of determining how they function 'internally' and how they can be described in different settings and without placing too much emphasis on defining a priori what a project might be. At the same time, we examined all the literature we could find on the theoretical and practical aspects of projects. Empirically, from the outset we chose to study pairs of projects that we expected to have something in common but also to exhibit some evident differences. Thus, we have studied a wide variety of projects, including the development of a new opera (Lolita, with music by the Russian composer Rodion Schedrin) as well as product development in an industrial setting (the new Volvo 850) and an attempt to renew industrial production (the T50 project of ABB). During analysis of the projects we found this general notion of simultaneously 'maximising' and 'minimising' differences very useful. The variety of projects studied provided an interesting set of inputs for our discussions and our attempts to relate our cases to the literature that we had studied. The variety was also very useful when we expanded the empirical work to other cases at a later stage.

When analysing the data collected and our impressions of the projects,

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