Calls for papers


International Journal of Project Organisation and Management
International Journal of Project Organisation and Management


Special Issue on: "Conceptual and Empirical Developments on the Management of Atypical Projects"

Guest Editor:
Dr. François Chiocchio, Université de Montréal, Canada

As the world moves towards a Web 2.0 connected universe, the value of information and knowledge is growing, and the pace and complexity of work is increasing. Changes are deep and wide. Manufacturing is moving from mass production to mass specialization. The construction industry is growing to include sustainable development. The military is fighting lethal-yet intangible-enemies embodied in radical ideas. The service industry is adapting to concurrently satisfying multiple entities-individuals, groups, organizations, governments. Non-for-profit and non-governmental organizations are innovating in effectiveness and competing as any other organization. Organizations used to deliver projects to external customers or within to their internal clients must now engage in inter-organizational collaborations that pierce through boundaries, affect each others’ operations, and thus change the nature of provider-customer relationships. For large organizations, “small” is the new “big” as they are moving from rigid structures and processes to flexible arrays of interdependent self-managed teams. For small organizations, “big” is the new “small” as they are structuring to accommodate instantaneous global operations and competition. Together, these forces are contributing to projectizing the organization and management of work in ways far beyond the traditional views current bodies of knowledge, theories and practices were meant to support. In essence, we are witnessing the emergence of atypical projects.

We think of atypical projects as projects that blur the lines of conventional wisdom drawn from a traditional view of project management. At one end of the continuum, atypical projects are light, flexible, boundaryless endeavors performed by seasoned, certified, and experienced project teams that are consciously tackling big and strategic projects in radically different ways. At the other end of the continuum, atypical projects are small endeavors that represent workers’ natural inclination to organize and manage their work as a project, unaware of project management theories, practices of bodies of knowledge.

In this special edition, we seek to encourage scholars and advanced practitioners to challenge doctrinal perspectives on project management, identify gaps between textbook descriptions of typical projects and the vast array of atypical projects, and provide conceptual models, dynamic theories, and empirical evidence in support of project effectiveness in an ever expanding and diversified projectized world.

Subject Coverage
Suitable topics for papers include but are not limited addressing the following issues:
  • Given that by definition projects involve temporariness, and newness, what are the conceptual or practical distinctions between routinized delivery of similar projects (i.e., through PMOs) and projectizing ongoing operations (e.g., "every customer walking in the store is a project")?
  • To what extent do these hybrid forms of management help or hinder innovativeness, productivity, employee well-being, and team effectiveness?
  • How can organizations adapt work structures, policies, and jobs so that workers can successfully engage in a mix of "regular" ongoing work and "special" projects?
  • What traditional knowledge, theories, or practices are effective / ineffective to understand atypical projects? Why?
  • What new knowledge, theories, or practices are necessary to understand atypical projects? Why?
  • Are success factors of atypical projects similar to typical projects? Why?
  • What role does tacit knowledge, common sense, and intuition play in managing atypical projects?
  • What is the least amount of project management knowledge required to manage atypical projects successfully?
  • What explains the successes and failures of atypical projects?

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper was not originally copyrighted and if it has been completely re-written).

All papers are refereed through a double-blind peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page.

Important Dates

Submission Deadline: 30 September, 2011 (extended)