Title: Who cares about project deadlines? A processual relational perspective on problems with information sharing in project environments

Authors: Svetlana Cicmil, Hugo Gaggiotti

Addresses: Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, BS16 1QY Bristol, UK. ' Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol, Frenchay Campus, Coldharbour Lane, BS16 1QY Bristol, UK

Abstract: The paper draws on a study of a manufacturing company which delivers engineering solutions, through projects, to customers in the international oil and gas industry. It focuses on the problem of persistent project delays and failure to meet promised deadlines, and the nature of managerial interventions aimed at improving information sharing among organisational members contributing to project planning, work execution and control processes. The research approach is interpretative and draws on the principles of sense-making and narratology in analysing interviews with the organisational members involved in projects. As a result, the following suggestions are made: 1) the attention should be paid to the emerging, self-organising and tension-laden relationships among project participants and their approaches to project delays as a result of the local micro-diversity; 2) the project manager|s role should also encompass the role of an analyst and negotiator of meanings across the diverse organisational groupings; 3) the ethics of responsibility, accountability and |fair play| should be embedded in the culture of project work; 4) |public| reflection among project contributors should be facilitated to enable competing values and expectations to be acknowledged and freely debated, to support cooperation and mutual respect.

Keywords: project delays; project-based work; processual-relational perspective; information sharing; sense-making; narrative approach; manufacturing industry; oil and gas industry; engineering projects; project management; ethics; knowledge management; cooperation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2009.028838

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2009 Vol.3 No.3/4, pp.222 - 240

Published online: 06 Oct 2009 *

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